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 has aligned with the latest announcement from the Government which sees the country currently under alert Level 4.
Netball Waikato Bay of Plenty CEO Rohan West said the announcement, while disappointing, was understandable.
“We are particularly saddened for our wonderful WBOP Beko Netball League team – players and management, who have had their season cancelled.”
West hoped that the Splice Construction Magic would be training as soon as it would be safely possible.
“First and foremost, we all need to do all we can to keep everyone in our netball community safe and healthy. We remain optimistic, yet pragmatic, about the opportunity to restart the season at the earliest possible date. To all our whanau, stay safe and be kind to all.”
Magic coach Amigene Metcalfe spoke on the announcement as well.
“The announcement today is probably no surprise but we know the whole netball community will be feeling it. It’s particularly heartbreaking for our BEKO sisters who have been working hard to prepare for their league, but know that their opportunity and time will come. We know these decisions are never easy and come in the best interests of our safety, health and wellbeing. We will be looking forward to netball starting up as soon as it can and being back enjoying the game we love.”
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 Netball NZ 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.
Tickets for individual ANZ Premiership matches that have been purchased for any of the remaining rounds will be refunded and purchasers should contact the relevant ticket agency to action. People with Team memberships will be contacted directly by Teams in due course.