Two junior sports cancelled

Both the Seymour District Junior Football Netball League and Kilmore Broadford Netball Association have cancelled upcoming seasons due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The SDJFNL decision follows after only three clubs indicated they could field teams in 2020, making it unviable to proceed with a competition.

Clubs are concerned about maintaining health and safety for their players, families and community if a season was to proceed.

AFL Goulburn Murray Region general manager Jamie Macri said it was disappointing but the decision was made with the community’s best interests in mind.

“We look forward to welcoming them back in 2021,” he said.

KBNA hoped to run a junior competition for 2020 but announced it would cancel its season last week after an association-wide meeting.

KBNA president Danni Thompson said the decision was unfortunate but necessary.

“With the increase in the number of cases we had at the time of the meeting, the clubs felt that we didn’t want to start a season and then have to stop it again,” she said.

“Quite a few clubs needed to do more groundwork in order to get guidelines in place. Five out of the six clubs still needed to get permission from Mitchell Shire, and one of the clubs had been knocked back on permission to train.

“It was risk versus reward, and the risk outweighed the reward.

“It was a devastating, heartbreaking decision to make, but we couldn’t afford to have the season start then stop again.”

Ms Thompson said families that had already paid association fees would be able to apply for a refund through their clubs.

The outlook is brighter for Wallan Basketball, which will offer a 30 percent discount on player registration fees for what will be a shortened winter season, starting Saturday July 11 – the end of the school holidays.

President Gary O’Brien said the club was in danger of financial collapse if it was unable to play a season.

“We want to make sure when we hit the summer season that everything is normal so we can have a full season and it’s not impacted,” he said.

“That means the winter season is going to be a much shorter season in order for the summer season to start on time.

“We want to run it more as a fun season to get everyone back into the feel for it.

“We can’t afford not to run it. As a not-for-profit organisation, we hold fees for seasons until they start and if we were to cancel, we’d go broke.”

Mr O’Brien said parents who had already paid registration fees for the winter season would be offered a 30 percent discount on either the summer season or winter 2021 season, while new registrations for this season would be at a discounted rate.

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