HEATHCOTE District Football Netball League officials have announced the 2020 season has been abandoned due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The competition’s board made the decision on Thursday night, become the first community league in Victoria to cancel their season.
“Considering the continued uncertainty around season 2020, this decision, as difficult and disappointing as it is, gives everyone clarity and somewhat relief of the unknown,” an email to clubs said.
“We as a league and our clubs can now focus on and look forward to a very exciting 2021 season.”
The league confirmed several factors helped it reach a decision, outlining those in the email.
- Based on State Government COVID-19 restriction roll out the highly unlikely return to full scale training by June 15, which is the latest date requested by clubs to be able to train as a whole, prior to the latest possible season start date of July 4;
- The health and safety of all players, officials and volunteers around forecast Return to Play restrictions at training (scheduled to start May 25). And in particular, the increased responsibility on club representatives to administer COVID-19 protocols;
- The health, safety and financial impact on all individuals, should a COVID-19 case be detected at one of our clubs. Eg. Isolation for a 14-day period, elderly populations particularly in rural areas at higher risk;
- Financial hardship and lack of income clubs will endure.
The news just days after AFL Victoria announced clubs could begin organised training from Monday, meanwhile netball teams were able to train in groups of 10 from yesterday.