Despite trying to keep the Tumut Basketball Association autumn competition running, organisers have had to postpone all operations due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Tumut Basketball president Jason Beavan was distraught when sharing the news to association members on Friday.
“All scheduled domestic fixtures have been cancelled and all basketball has been suspended until the governing health and sport bodies deem it safe to proceed; this includes training and court hire of the stadium,” Beavan said.
“Our board has made this difficult decision to align with information from Basketball Australia and Basketball New South Wales, who have similarly suspended BNSW managed programs, events and fixtures until further notice.”
Beavan, who was apologetic to Tumut Basketball participants, suggested that participants were happy to continue playing basketball.
“We apologise for any inconvenience caused and we encourage all the members of the Tumut Basketball family to prioritise their health over the next few weeks, as the community looks to minimise the effect of this ongoing COVID-19 crisis,” Beavan said.
“The feedback we received from parents and players after playing recently was good but unfortunately but we need to cease play and more information about the implications of this suspension of activities will come through over the next couple of weeks, as we continue conversations with BNSW.”
Tumut Basketball had continued playing through the first two rounds of their 2020 competition, after other Basketball NSW competitions had stopped play, which Beavan said was done with the extreme amount of care.
“We were playing with under 100 people indoors at the time and no one in the Murrumbidgee Local Health District had been infected (by coronavirus),” Beavan said.
“We had hand sanitizer, we had no handshakes and instead, we had foot taps after the game, and we believe we were taking the necessary steps but after long discussions, we didn’t want to risk the health of the community, so we decided to make the hard decision not to play.”
The Tumut Basketball competition, which officially ended on Thursday, will now face a 30-day ban, which takes them to April 20.
In spite of the long ban, Beavan is hoping the local competition can continue on as planned.
“Once we are allowed to return to playing, the competitions will continue from where they were finished (round two),” Beavan said.
“The draw will remain the same but with altered dates and it will be extended.”
Beavan did explain that Tumut Basketball were preparing for a variety of options, including play resuming after the NSW school holidays and other long-term options.
“We are hoping that by the end of the school holidays, basketball will start back up and we will extend the competition by an additional three weeks,” Beavan said.
“If the ban extends and we have to start later in the year, we could potentially just restart the competition instead of running our August competition.”
In the mean time, Beavan and Tumut Basketball have advised that participants should keep up-to-date with the current COVID-19 pandemic via Tumut Basketball’s Facebook page and Basketball NSW.
“BNSW have created a dedicated page on their website which will serve as a single point of information on all matters related to covid-19 and basketball-related activities,” Beavan said.
For more information, visit Tumut Basketball on Facebook or Basketball NSW on https://www.bnsw.com.au/covid-19/.