Following a meeting with NW Thunder tonight and subsequent calls to all club Presidents the decision has been made to cancel the remainder of the season.
This decision does not impact NW Thunder and the club made it clear that any decision had to be made in the best interests of the sport, our NWBU competition, our member clubs and our communities. NW Thunder will continue to be guided by advice from NBL 1 and are unable to provide any information as to their season and what it may look like at this time. We have had to make an extremely hard decision after consultation with our member clubs.
We asked if clubs were comfortable with suspending the roster for four weeks and then a review and further decisions to be made at that time and perhaps a shortened roster or should we cancel the remainder of the competition. With so much uncertainty around in regard to the Coronavirus and the ever developing situation for our communities we have made the decision to cancel the remainder of the season based on the following reasons:-
- We are unsure if after 4 weeks that we could continue and any further delays could see us unable to finish the competition and finals series.
- It is likely that finals would be played in a stadium with no fans given the current directive of the Federal Government that gatherings of over 500 (and word tonight was that this could change to 200) we are unsure when this ban may be lifted.
- With the directive from Basketball Tasmania that they have cancelled all activities and all programs including training many clubs have completely shut down their activities.
- Schools today put in place protocols including the following:-
- the cancellation of all assemblies and presentation nights
- concerts (with audiences)
- all sports carnivals
- school camps (both local and interstate)
- parent teacher meetings (consider using phone or other technology).
- Whilst public schools remain open at the moment, this too could change in the days and weeks to come.
- Would our volunteers be comfortable in ensuring good hygiene was followed at stadiums – given that hand sanitiser cannot be sourced readily now. It is an added burden and responsibility put on our volunteers.
- Some import players and their families feel that they should return home whilst they are still able, given the travel bans that are increasing every day.
- It is likely that AFL Tasmania will not commence competitions until 31st May.
- We took into consideration the financial burden to clubs should we continue but without public attendance and also what a suspension of the competition would mean to clubs.
- We looked at what we stood to lose with either option. What we stood to gain with either option. We considered our obligations to our partners and options for new ideas once the current situation is under control and life and sport can resume.
- With no cases on the North West Coast, one of our clubs cancelled all activity – competition and trainings – as a response to helping contain the spread of the virus. We feel this is the responsible action to protect not only our players, supporters and officials, but the wider community.
- We are unsure of the legal and insurance implications as Basketball Tasmania are still investigating.
The decision to continue local domestic comps and trainings is left to individual clubs who are responsibly looking at advice and developments closely on a daily basis. The advice is to ensure sanitisation stations are available, good hygiene is promoted and notices to families and others to stay away if unwell or if returning from overseas be posted at venues that continue to have any activity.
This decision has been a very difficult one to make, however we wanted to provide clarity among the uncertainty and make a decision we felt was best for all. We hope that this carefully considered decision in consultation with our clubs helps us maintain our integrity and with time to implement new ideas we will return either later in the year or in 2021 bigger and better!!!!
President – NWBU Inc.