Narrabri Shire sporting clubs, competitors and competitions are feeling the effect of the coronavirus pandemic.

Keep updated below:

Update: Tuesday, March 24:

Tennis lessons to continue

Narrabri Tennis said today that it would continue with private/semi private coaching lessons in the near future.

“Narrabri Tennis will be continuing its private/semi private coaching lessons with changes only occurring to scheduled group lessons,” a Narrabri Tennis statement said.

“Private and semi private lessons will remain unchanged.

“Group lessons now can only have group players per court, so to keep these lessons flowing we will use additional coaches.

Narrabri Basketball Association postpones games indefinitely

Narrabri Basketball Association announced on Monday, March 16, that it had suspended its season for two weeks.

Yesterday it made a new announcement, that all games had been postponed until further notice.

Update: Monday, March 23:

Narrabri Touch Inc season cancelled

The Narrabri Touch Inc’s 2019-20 summer season has become the latest victim of the coronavirus pandemic just seven days away from grand final night.

Narrabri Touch Inc announced moments ago that its season had been cancelled.

The season had just 10 more games to go across two evenings, with the preliminary finals scheduled for this evening and the grand finals scheduled for Monday, March 30.

“Due to the coronavirus and player feedback, Narrabri Touch Inc has cancelled the balance of the games for the season,” a Narrabri Touch Inc statement said.

“A big thank you to all who participated.”

Narrabri Junior Soccer postpones rego/information day

Narrabri Junior Soccer has been forced to postpone its rego/information day scheduled for Saturday, April 4.

“We are waiting on the governing bodies to inform us if or when the season will start or not,” the Narrabri Junior Soccer committee said.

“We will not find out until April 14, we will update you on any new information that comes to hand.

“Registrations are still open but probably be an good option to wait till after April 14.”

Update: Friday, March 20:

Wee Waa Swimming Club carnival called off

The Wee Waa Swimming Club end of season carnival scheduled for tomorrow has been cancelled, as was the club’s last club night yesterday.

Wee Waa Swimming Club said that the executive committee has made the tough decision to cancel those two events amid the coronavirus pandemic affecting the country.

“We will be posting more information in coming days regarding annual general meeting and presentation,” Gray said.

Update: Thursday, March 19:

Crossroads Cup cancelled

The AFLNW season start date has been pushed back until at least May 31, while the April 4 Crossroads Cup Australian rules football pre-season tournament in Narrabri has been cancelled.

The Narrabri Eagles AFLNW team is are also unable to train until May 31.

The AFL recently issued the following statement:

“Following a series of meetings over the last number of days involving the AFL and all state and territory chief executives recommendations have been made in relation to community football.

“All AFL and AFL State association managed or operated leagues along with the NAB AFL Auskick Centres programs currently operating or set to begin, will be postponed until May 31.

“The AFL is also strongly recommending that independently governed junior and senior leagues and associations postpone the commencement and/or operation of their leagues/associations until the same date.

“This decision and recommendation covers AFL community matches, AFL community training sessions and face to face AFL, WAFC and SANFL education courses.”

Update: Wednesday, March 18:

Group Four season options open

By Geoff Newling

Group Four Rugby League’s 2020 season is still alive but remains at the mercy of coronavirus pandemic.

Group Four president Ray McCoy said the intention is still to kick off on May 2/3 but that depends on what happens with the coronavirus.

“We have got to be flexible and remain positive,” Ray McCoy said after a Group Four board meeting last night.

That meeting discussed the many alternatives open to Group Four for playing a 2020 competition with a shortened season or even with gala days.

He said Group Four would wait to see, and follow, directives from the NSWRL.

The NSWRL Board has agreed to postpone all Community Rugby League until at least May 1, effective immediately, while all major NSWRL competitions have been suspended until May 31.

That means that Group Four clubs cannot play trial games or even train until at least May 1.

Netball season registrations close temporarily

The Narrabri Netball Association committee met last night to discuss the current coronavirus situation.

At that meeting it was decided, among other things, that winter season registrations would close and all training would cease.

The association issued the following statement last night:

“Considering the current COVID-19 situation Narrabri Netball Committee met tonight (Tuesday) to discuss recommendations and decisions made by NSW Netball. Below are the decisions that have been made in line with NSW Netball:

– Winter season registrations will be temporarily closed;

– All training has been cancelled until further notice;

– Senior State Titles have been postponed by NSW Netball, with date yet to be decided;

– State Titles teams are still required to attend scheduled RSL raffles unless otherwise notified (RSL raffles since cancelled);

– All other representative fundraising is to be put on hold;

– All representative players will not be invoiced until we have an understanding of competitions moving forward.

“We will continue to deliver more information as it comes to light. Please contact us for any clarification.”

Namoi Soccer League start date pushed back, training cancelled

The Namoi Soccer League competition was scheduled to begin on Saturday, March 28, however that has been pushed back until May, while teams are unable to train until at least April 14.

Northern Inland Football general manager Julia Farina said yesterday that all soccer activity in the zone had been suspended from 12am on Wednesday, March 18, until Tuesday, April 14.

“This affects all training, trial games, games, futsal games, education courses, season come and try days for all members of the football community – it affects all players, volunteers, coaches, managers and match officials in the football community,” Farina said.

“Northern Inland Football will continue to prepare for the 2020 season with a commencement date of Saturday, May 2.

“Registrations will remain open and team nominations will be extended to accommodate the recent changes to our sport.”


Update: Tuesday, March 17:

Polocrosse carnivals suspended

Polocrosse Association of Australia announced today that all levels (club, state, territory and Australian) carnivals had been suspended.

That comes just days after it was announced that the 2020 Australian National Polocrosse Championships in Ballarat had been postponed.

Many players from the North West Plains Polocrosse zone had been selected into NSW teams to play at that event.

Advice on all other polocrosse activities including practices, coaching and umpiring schools will be distributed on Friday.

Bowls games suspended as of today

Bowls NSW has suspended all bowls including social bowls events.

That means that all Narrabri Sporties and Wee Waa Bowling Club competitions cannot be played for the time being, nor can Zone Three competitions including pennant matches scheduled for this weekend.

A statement from Bowls NSW is as follows:

“Both Women’s Bowls NSW and Bowls NSW have been continuously monitoring the Coronavirus situation.

“Subsequent to a teleconference meeting with Bowls Australia and all State and Territory Associations late yesterday and with regard to the notice released by Bowls Australia today (March 17), Women’s Bowls NSW and Bowls NSW jointly advise the following:

“Amid growing concerns and uncertainty in relation to the spreading of COVID-19 and to provide a safeguard to all members, volunteers, clubs and their staff, especially concerning the demographic that encapsulates a large proportion of both associations’ memberships that Women’s Bowls NSW and Bowls NSW have decided that:

“All bowls events be suspended for an indefinite period, effective immediately.

“This relates to all association events, competition events, club events and tournaments and includes social bowls events.

“While this is obviously an unfortunate disruption to the season, Women’s Bowls NSW and Bowls NSW believes that a blanket guidance such as this leaves all associations, clubs, players, coaches, officials and administrators in the state in the same position while we watch developments around COVID-19.

“It is important to note that the season is not being cancelled. At this time, the recommended action is seen as a socially responsible position for the lawn bowls community in NSW to take.”

Central North Rugby Union forced to delay 2020 kick-off

The 2020 Central North Rugby Union season was scheduled to kick off on Saturday, April 4, with the Narrabri Blue Boars set to host Quirindi.

However, Rugby Australia announced yesterday that all community rugby competitions across the country would be postponed until the first weekend of May, at least, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Today (Monday) following a meeting of the National Development Panel, Rugby Australia along with the State and Territory member unions have unanimously agreed to postpone all community rugby until the first week of May, effective immediately,” the statement read.

Narrabri Rugby Club president Mick Coffey responded this morning.

“Like the rest of the world, the coronavirus has affected the rugby community,” he said.

“For now it is six weeks of no rugby and we’ll work on the assumption the season will begin and we’ll be back on track to winning premierships in all four grades.

“We will be working closely with Central North Rugby to revise the draw and season as soon as possible.”

Rugby Australia also announced that clubs were not permitted to train during that time.

Coffey told The Courier that it was now up to the players to maintain reasonable standard fitness levels during this time.

The announcement also affects junior rugby union across the country, with the Narrabri Junior Rugby Club also unable to train or play until at least May.

Group Four’s nines tournament cancelled but May kick-off expected

By Geoff Newling

Coronavirus has knocked out two major Group Four Rugby League pre-season competitions – the Jack Woolaston Nines and Ladies’ League Tag Knockout – but the regular season is still timed for an early May kickoff.

On Monday an emergency Group Four Rugby League Board meeting was held with North Tamworth Rugby League Club president Jody Cooper and Greater Northern Tigers regional manager Scott Bone discussing the coming Group Four season.

It was agreed the best decision given the dire circumstances of the pandemic that the upcoming Jack Woolaston Nines at North Tamworth and Ladies’ League Tag Knockout at Boggabri be cancelled.

Bears president Jody Cooper said calling off the nines tournament was “unfortunate” but simply falling into line with directives from the nation’s chief medical officer.

“We’ve got to do the right thing, this has happened and is out of our control,” Cooper said.

“We’ve got to look after the players and their families.”

Scott Bone said while it was a difficult decision it has been made by the North Tamworth club and Group Four Rugby League, in collaboration with the NSW Rugby League, “in the interest of the Group Four clubs and the community”.

“That the bodies will continue to work together, with the information that is provided by the Government and the sports governing bodies to ensure the safety of the players, volunteers and the rugby league community in general,” he said.

The NSWRL was continuing to discuss the Covid-19 outbreak and, in consultation with the National Rugby League, came up with the best defence against it.

That means this weekend’s Jack Woolaston Nines at North Tamworth is off as well as the Ladies’ League Tag Knockout at Boggabri.

Pre-season trials for individual clubs are also canned.

However the regular Group Four Rugby League season is still timed for a May 2/3 kickoff at this stage, advised the Group’s chairman Ray McCoy.

He said, iterating the message from NRL heavyweights Peter V’Landys and Todd Greenberg, “everything is fluid. Our decisions may change as this disastrous pandemic explodes.”

“We are still moving forward to that May 2/3 kick-off season,” he added.

“Clubs are still able to train but they should be monitoring their health and hygiene closely.”

Narrabri Basketball Association season suspended for two weeks

The Narrabri Basketball Association issued a statement yesterday announcing that its season had been suspended for at least two weeks. The statement is as follows:

“Please be advised that we have made the difficult decision to postpone all games at this time.

“Based on advice we have received from Basketball NSW the decision has been made to postpone games for a minimum of two weeks.

“The situation is changing constantly, as does the advice we receive, and as a result we will be posting more updates as we have them.

“We understand that this decision will be disappointing for many of our players, however the health and safety of our players is our priority.”

School sports events cancelled

North West School Sports Association issued a statement yesterday morning following a NSW Department of Education media release ‘Schools to Implement

Distancing Measures’ in response to the coronavirus pandemic on Sunday.

The statement announced that a number of trials, championships and knockouts would not proceed as planned.

The full statement is as follows:

“The media release from Mark Scott, secretary – NSW Department of Education, last night indicated a ‘phased social distancing strategy’ is to be implemented from Monday, March 16. As part of this strategy ‘sports and initiatives events will be temporarily ceased until further notice’.

“The North West SSA advises that the following trials/championships/knockouts will not proceed:

1. Primary boys’ and girls’ southern football trials.
2. Primary boys’ and girls’ northern football trials.
3. Primary and secondary swimming championships – SOPAC.
4. Secondary boys’ and girls’ hockey trials.
5. Final primary boys’ and girls’ football trials.
6. CHS girls’ volleyball championships – Armidale.
7. Secondary winter trials – 15s and 18s rugby league, secondary boys’ and girls’ football, netball
8. Primary boys’ and girls ‘hockey.
9. Primary boys’ southern cricket trials.
10. Primary boys’ northern cricket trials.
11. CHS diving – SOPAC.
12. PSSA diving – SOPAC.
13. Secondary golf trials.
14. North West executive meeting.

“All Knockouts are temporarily ceased also.

“We will review this to start Term 2.

“This situation will be regularly reviewed and updates provided. We thank you for your understanding during this time.”

Harness races to still go ahead

The Narrabri Harness Racing Club meets scheduled for Sunday, April 5, and Monday, April 13, will go ahead without spectators club president Peter Shepherdson told The Courier this morning.

Harness Racing NSW said yesterday:

“From today (Monday) and until further notice NSW race meetings and affiliated harness racing events will be conducted with less than 500 persons in attendance.

“To satisfactorily comply without risk of exceeding the mandatory number of attendees only persons considered essential to the conduct of a race meeting or an affiliated event will be permitted entry onto race tracks or properties.”

Touch footy finals given the green light for now

The Narrabri Touch Inc preliminary finals (Monday, March 23) and grand finals (Monday, March 30) will still be going ahead at this stage Narrabri Touch Inc told The Courier this morning.

Narrabri Touch Inc is currently moving forward with the 2019-20 summer season following advice from Touch Football Australia.

“In light of COVID-19, Touch Football Australia – in collaboration with the New South Wales Touch Association and Queensland Touch Football – has developed a position on the running of Touch Football competitions around the country,” Touch Football Australia said yesterday.

“Based on an assessment of government and health department information that has been released to date, Touch Football Australia advises that competitions or events of under 500 attendees in the one location at any one time can continue to run.

“The Federal Government has advised that non-essential events of more than 500 people in any one location should not be held.

“In New South Wales, a Public Health Order has been issued by the NSW Health Minister stating that anyone holding public events with more than 500 people or more in attendance at any one time may be subject to penalty.”

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