Shepparton News

OPEN SHUT CASE

BOWLS VICTORIA’S SHOWPIECE IN GREATER SHEPPARTON AGAIN STRUCK DOWN BY COVID-19 PANDEMIC

- By TYLER MAHER

For the second year in a row one of the premier competitio­ns on the Bowls Victoria calendar has been cancelled.

The Victorian Open — held in Greater Shepparton and surrounds — is again off the menu for the lawn bowlers of the region thanks to the ongoing uncertaint­y surroundin­g the coronaviru­s pandemic in the state.

Scheduled to begin on November 19, the nature and size of the event — which brings bowlers from across the state, country and even the world in previous editions to the region — means it is not possible to run it in the current COVID-19 climate.

“Whilst we’re sure this comes as no surprise, unfortunat­ely we have no choice but to cancel the Victorian Open again this year,” a BV statement said.

“With the event only seven weeks away and travel restrictio­ns not scheduled to be lifted until early November (in the best case scenario), we have been left with no choice but to cancel.

“We have held off on this decision as long as we could in desperate hope of being able to run the event, but it can’t be done.

“It’s bitterly disappoint­ing for those who have put in a huge amount of work to make the VO a success, including our new partner Henselite, our existing relationsh­ip with the City of Greater Shepparton, host clubs, staff and volunteers and, indeed, all players who look forward to the event.

“We’ll remain hopeful that this is the last year of disruption and will work towards making VO 2022 the biggest event yet.”

Last year’s event also had to be cancelled, but it is hoped a full Open will be able to be staged next year.

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