Updated: Mar 18, 2020
*NB* This announcement applies to Secondary School sport only.
Following the government announcement banning gatherings and events of 500 or more and in conjunction with NSOs with events scheduled this term, the board of School Sport NZ has confirmed that all events on the School Sport NZ national calendar are suspended. This decision will be reviewed on Monday 6th April. Some events where alternative dates are not possible will be cancelled, others may be postponed and we will work with NSOs to make announcements in due course.
The government directive banning mass gatherings of over 500 people automatically causes the cancellation or postponement of a number of events in the next 2 weeks.
With so many big events automatically suspended the level of uncertainty has the potential to significantly disrupt attendance at all events.
In making this decision to suspend events on the School Sport NZ national calendar both School Sport NZ and NSOs agree that the paramount factor is the health and safety of students, staff and community volunteers.
The current environment already features a number of individual schools cancelling their own events such as sport exchanges and camps and making decisions limiting travel and participation.
Events on the School Sport NZ national calendar feature schools travelling from all over New Zealand and as such present a potentially heightened risk of wider community spread by comparison to regional or local events.
Medical advice is that the risk of transmission is low at community level, where there has been no person-to-person spread, but significantly higher in situations in which airports, air-travel and hotels are involved as characterised by events on the School Sport NZ national calendar.
While student participants are registered, the ‘un-ticketed’ nature of events on the national calendar make it extremely difficult to contact trace as other attendees are not registered.
The close personal contact nature of sport carries a heightened risk of person to person transfer.
Regional bodies will need to consider their own circumstances in relation to their regional and local events.
Article added: Tuesday 17 March 2020