March 27, 2020
New Zealand’s ANZ Premiership along with community netball have been suspended for the foreseeable future whilst the Beko Netball League has been cancelled for 2020.
Netball New Zealand (NNZ) has aligned with the latest announcement from the Government which sees the country currently under alert Level 4.
``Talking about the ANZ Premiership goes against everything else that’s going on at the moment as we all try and focus on doing whatever we can to combat the spread of Covid-19,’’ Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse coach Yvette McCausland-Durie said.
``We are very mindful of the bigger picture here and the safety and wellbeing of all New Zealanders. From a netball perspective, our thoughts are definitely with our wider community across the Central Zone, from the little kids through to our volunteers who work incredibly hard to make the game happen and we are certainly missing the opportunity to be out in the community with them.’’
With the country in lockdown, the Pulse players are now spread around New Zealand after returning to their respective home bases to be with family but remain in touch daily and despite the unique situation, there is an air of positivity.
``The players’ attitude has been that they feel fortunate that they’re able to carry on in their jobs and while they’re doing that in an isolated setting, they’re actually really positive, still working hard in their own ways and we’ve got lots of ways of keeping in contact. As a group we’ve got lots of little challenges going on to keep connected and they’re doing really well.’’
Netball NZ Chief Executive Jennie Wyllie said it had been a challenging time for all of those involved but reiterated that the health and welfare of the players, team management and the wider netball community was top priority.
“At this stage there has been no decision made on the future of the ANZ Premiership, any other domestic competitions and community netball for 2020. NNZ will continue to provide regular updates on this as further information comes to hand. We are committed to netball playing its role in stopping the spread of COVID-19,” she said.
ANZ Premiership and Beko Netball League teams have all ceased group training under lockdown and NNZ will continue to review the situation based on advice provided by the Government and Ministry of Health.
“Our landscape is rapidly evolving and we will remain aligned with the advice given from the appropriate channels,” Wyllie said.
“This is a challenging time for our netball community and we acknowledge the impact this has on our Netball Zones, Centres and clubs. Again, we also acknowledge the immense support of our partners during these unprecedented times and in particular Sky Sport and ANZ.”
Just one full round of the 2020 ANZ Premiership was completed while both the Beko Netball League and community netball were preparing to start when Government restrictions on mass gatherings were announced.
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