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COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic disrupts sports across the Mid Coast region | Manning River Times




The ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has caused widespread postponements and cancellations for sporting competitions across the Mid Coast. The start of Football Mid North Coast’s senior and junior competitions have been put back until April 14. This follows an edict from Football Federation Australia this week in response to the coronavirus crisis. Football Mid North Coast chairman Mike Parsons said this would cover playing and training. Mr Parsons said his board would meet this week to discuss the latest development. The Coastal Premier League, involving four FMNC clubs and five from Football North Coast, along with the Zone Premier League, a seven club competition, were both due to start on Saturday, March 28. All other junior and senior competitions under the FMNC umbrella were to get underway early next month. Mr Parsons remains confident there would be adequate time to run a viable season. “But whatever happens, we’ll be following all guidelines from FFA and the Northern NSW Federation,” he added. Mid Coast teams have already started playing in the Northern NSW Premier League and the Herald Women’s Premier League. Earlier this week, Manning Futsal suspended all activities. The summer season won’t be completed but most of the competitions have wrapped up regular season fixtures. With finals scrapped, teams leading each competition will be crowned champions. At this stage, the winter competition will continue as normal. However, the status of the competition will be constantly assessed by officials. Academy activities are also suspended. NSW Rugby League (NSWRL) has cancelled all senior and junior competitions until at least May 1. This means Group Three senior and junior competitions, including all training sessions, are on hiatus. This decision was made by NSWRL in partnership with the NRL. The sporting body considered advice from NRL chief medical officer Paul Bloomfield and government agencies. The Group Three season was to get underway from the weekend of May 2 and 3 so impacts on the season could be minimal. The Andrew Johns and Laurie Daley cups, which both feature North Coast sides, have been postponed. “Above all else, our priority is to protect the health and safety of our players, officials, staff and supporters, as well as the broader community,” NSWRL chief executive David Trodden said. The Lower Mid North Coast Rugby Union competition will be postponed until the first week of May. This follows an announcement from Rugby Australia, which has barred all matches, training and courses until this time. The competition was set to get underway from April 4. The Mid North Coast Cricket Premier League finals series has been cancelled. Earlier this week, Cricket Australia ‘strongly recommended’ all amateur cricket be stopped immediately. Wingham has now been named premiers to go along with their minor premiership. Rovers claimed runners-up. Earlier this week, Wingham captain Michael Rees told the Times the protection of players needs to be a top priority in relation to the virus. “There are a lot of players who have young families so everyone needs to be protected,” he said. Hastings River District Cricket Association was awarded the over 35s championship. They were set to face Gloucester in the final on Sunday. “We thank you all for your efforts and patience in what has been a difficult season with droughts, bushfires, floods and now coronavirus. “I look forward to a much smoother one in season 2020-21,” Mid North Coast Cricket Council chairman David Burley said in a statement. Other local cricket competitions have already finished. Following a discussion with Basketball NSW on March 16, Taree Basketball has suspended all competitions and programs until further notice. The association had decided to continue competitions before the discussion. Taree and Forster parkruns have been cancelled until the end of March. This was put in place by parkrun Australia to align all participating countries with the same ban. Closures are expected to continue through April. The Manning Valley Hockey Association season will now begin on May 1. As players still want to play 20 matches this season, some senior and junior games will be played on Thursday and Friday nights. Other weekday time slots will be considered if necessary. At this stage, training sessions will be at the discretion of each club. Coaching clinics in the Manning have been postponed until early May. Horse races at Manning Valley Race Club will continue but will not be open to the public. This includes owners. Only essential personnel will be allowed to attend. All netball matches and training across the Manning have been indefinitely suspended. Manning Valley Netball Association will continue to monitor the situation. Manning Valley Cycle Club members hope to return to the course in time for the Wootton Classic on May 2. This follows the cancellation of Cycling NSW sanctioned races until at least April 30. All Surfing NSW events across the coast between now and the end of April have either been cancelled or will be delayed. AFL North Coast will go into recess until June 1. This will affect Manning Valley Mustangs sides. Some Manning River Rowing Club members were set to represent NSW at the Australian Masters Rowing Championships. This is now off, with the club stating rowers were looking forward to their first trip to the Lake Barrington Course in Tasmania.

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