Local winter competitions cancelled

Tumut netball and hockey fall by the wayside

Taylah Wilson and Tumut and District hockey will join Tumut netball Association in sitting out the 2020 winter sport season.

The Covid-19 pandemic has claimed two major sporting victims in 2020, with both the Tumut Netball Association and Tumut and District Hockey winter competitions going into recess. 

In statements released late last week, both competitions were disappointed to be making such a hard call but cited a lack of playing numbers and extra Covid-19 safety requirements as the main reason for their decisions. 

Tumut Netball Association secretary, Helen Stuenkel said she had never witnessed the competition folding during her lengthy involvement.

“I’m very disappointed. Kids won’t get that opportunity to play netball and get out and about with their friends,” Stuenkel said. 

“I’ve been involved with Tumut netball for nearly 40 years and we have never missed a competition in that time.”

Stuenkel said there were two major factors in play when explaining why the competition couldn’t go ahead. 

“We are a smaller competition and committee and we have hardly any volunteers, it’s only run by a few people and to put everything in place made it too hard,” Stuenkel said. 

“We also had a lack of nominations. Tumbarumba entered three teams but there was only about 20 entered altogether and we had 55 teams play last year.

“20 might sound like a lot but they were spread across different age groups and there were not a good enough number of teams in each age group to play any type of competition.”

Stuenkel didn’t blame the parents and players either, and said it would have been a tough decision for anyone not to play.

“I can understand the point of view of parents; take for instance the Newcastle competition that has 100s of teams, they had to cancel and we are so much smaller, so it’s understandable,” Stuenkel said. 

Gundagai Netball Club, who plays in the Tumut Netball Association competition, touched on similar reasons for the competition not going ahead in 2020.

“Unfortunately, there will be no winter netball competition held in 2020. We did not receive enough team registrations, it has been an unfortunate year and we understand why people cannot commit to this short season,” the Gundagai Netball Club statement read. 

In a positive piece of news, Tumut Netball Association will be working with the Gundagai Netball Club to get some sort of twilight competition off and running later this year for junior players; similar to the Gundagai senior competition that is played on Tuesdays. 

“We have full intentions to come back bigger and stronger than ever in 2021,” the statement read. 

“We do hope to promote the game later in the year, starting with our twilight competition held on Tuesdays for seniors in Gundagai, as well as a junior twilight competition held on a separate night in Tumut.”

Stuenkel said that Tumut Netball Association was also very keen to see a junior twilight competition kick off in October. 

“We will hopefully have a twilight competition in term four, there will be more daylight and it will be during the warming weather,” Stuenkel said. 

“We are still working out the particulars and what day we will play and it will come down to team nominations but by that time, we hope there might be some more teams.”

In a very similar statement released by Tumut and District Hockey on Thursday, it quickly became apparent that player commitment and the extra work that was heaped on committees due to Covid-19 safety requirements were the main reasons for hockey going into recess. 

“We held a meeting Tuesday night to review our survey responses and Covid-19 requirements to determine if we could viably run a competition,” the statement read. 

“Unfortunately, we will not be able to run a competition at this time.”

In good news, Tumut and District Hockey will follow suit of the Tumut Netball Association by attempting to run a competition later in the year. 

“We are hoping to possibly run a spring competition later in the year. We don’t know what format that will be yet, as we need to review Covid-19 restrictions and interest at that time.”