WEIGHT OF COVID-19 BRINGS SPORTING WORLD CRASHING DOWN LEAVING SEASONS HEAVILY CLOUDED
Community sport across the Goulburn Valley has been put on hold once again as Shepparton deals with a COVID-19 outbreak.
As positive case numbers ballooned on Friday, a raft of sport leagues and events — that were due to take place at the weekend — were cancelled long before regional Victoria entered another lockdown on Saturday.
Regional areas are now aligned with metro Melbourne restrictions — without a curfew — and will remain in these restrictions until September 2.
The Goulburn Valley League board made the decision to scotch the final two rounds of the home and away season on Friday afternoon.
A call on whether finals will take place will be made in the coming week.
“The GVL board has agreed unanimously to cancel the remaining two rounds of the GVL home and away season,” chairman David Roff said.
“We need to allow time for contact tracing to occur to ascertain if any close contacts exist within clubs.
“The board felt that it was in the best interest for the health and safety of everyone in all our communities to cancel all scheduled games for round 15 and 16.
“The future of the finals series will be assessed as we receive additional advice from the relevant authorities and will be discussed at a presidents’ meeting scheduled for early next week.”
The outcome of this decision means Echuca is awarded the minor premiership in senior football, while Shepparton United is minor premier in A-grade netball.
Meanwhile, Kyabram District League released a statement on Friday afternoon that it too had pulled the pin on its scheduled round of action.
The league made the decision to cancel the weekend’s round 16 fixtures, while the state of play for round 17 — the last of the home and away season — has not yet been indicated.
“This weekend’s matches have been cancelled due to the recent COVID outbreak in the Shepparton region,” a league statement read.
“The KDL executive and presidents will have a scheduled meeting over Zoom in the coming days to work out how we move forward as a league.
“There will be further updates on the remainder of the season as soon as we have more information.”
From a junior sport perspective, Shepparton District Junior Football League elected to abandon all its scheduled matches that were due to take place.
Shepparton Junior Soccer Association and Shepparton Netball Association followed suit and opted to call off their respective matches.
Many other competitions did not go ahead at the weekend.
The Doing it for Jarrod day at Shepparton and Mooroopna golf clubs did not proceed as planned on Saturday.
There is yet to be an announcement for when the event, which honours the late Jarrod Lyle, will be rescheduled.
Elsewhere, the Shepparton Running Festival was also cancelled.
Due to take place at the weekend, the event organisers met on Friday and made the decision to call off the event shortly after.
“The event management team together with the Shepparton Runners’ Club committee have made the decision to cancel this weekend’s event,” a statement read.
“This decision was based on the safety of Shepparton and regional Victorian communities. Watch our website news for updates.”
Goulburn Valley Hockey Association acted hastily, calling off games that were scheduled on Friday night.
“Given the confirmed positive case of COVID-19 in Shepparton this morning and in consultation with the GVHA executive and club presidents, we feel the most prudent action is to call off tonight’s and tomorrow’s matches,” an association statement read.
“With a better indication of the full situation in the coming days we will announce the impact this cancellation will have on our competitions and end-of-season plans.”
Before Bendigo Amateur Soccer League had officially cancelled the weekend’s round of action, Shepparton South and Shepparton United made it known their sides would not participate in round 15.