Shepparton Netball Association cancels 2020 winter season

By Aydin Payne

The Shepparton Netball Association has cancelled its 2020 winter season due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Last week the Goulburn Valley association signalled the cancellation of the Saturday winter season by posting the difficult news on its Facebook group.

The association said the decision was due to the season not able to begin by mid-June, with no definitive return to play dates given from Netball Victoria.

The governing body allowed for club-sanctioned training recently under strict guidelines, however, a date for competitions to resume has not been revealed.

The SNA was the first sporting competition in the Goulburn Valley to draw a line through its entire season due to COVID-19, but the Kyabram District League has since followed.

SNA president Tracey Toy said that although the committee's unanimous decision to cancel the winter season was a tough one, it was made in the best interests of its participants.

“It was a really tough decision, a really hard one,” she said

“But the committee felt that it was in the best interests of the community and we felt it needed to be made earlier rather than later.”

The SNA hopes to be back for a twilight competition later this year.

Toy revealed that the twilight season - which normally starts in October - could potentially kick off a month earlier for all age sections from nine-and-under to open.

“On a positive side it gives the committee a bit of breathing space to run an earlier twilight competition,” she said.

“Once restrictions start to ease and we can get a start date, we could potentially start the twilight season six to four weeks earlier.

“We are very positive that we will have a 2020 twilight netball season happening.”

Toy said the twilight season could be split over two nights and the association would "follow each guideline" introduced by Netball Victoria.

But with the future timeline still unclear, she asked for patience as the association worked through the details.

“All the dates and that stuff is up in the air, there are lots of possibilities,” Toy said.

“All the nitty gritty stuff will be worked out once we get a clear indication from the governing bodies.

“We just ask that everyone does the right thing and we will keep everyone up to date over the coming weeks.”