Goulburn Valley Hockey Association cancels senior season

By Aydin Payne

Another sport has succumbed to the impact of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Goulburn Valley Hockey Association cancelled its senior winter competitions on Friday, after an update from the Victorian Government concerning community sport.

The government revised its protocols on adults returning to sport, deciding to halt the resumption of contact training and competition for people aged over 18.

However, people aged under 18 years can continue to participate in contact sport.

GVHA joins a growing list of competitions across the region to have pulled the pin on senior action this year due to COVID-19.

In a post to its Facebook page the association outlined why the call was made to cancel the senior winter season and confirmed the junior season would commence this upcoming weekend.

“Following this recent announcement by the Minister for Community Sport, the GVHA executive committee, in consultation with Hockey Victoria and our club presidents (seniors), have had to make the unfortunate decision to cancel the 2020 GVHA senior winter season,” the statement read.

“The junior season will go ahead as planned, commencing next Saturday July 18.

“We hope to be able to run significant twilight competitions later in the year, catering for all age groups and abilities.

“The GVHA executive committee thanks all clubs and members for their support over the past four months and remaining committed to see a senior winter season proceed.”

Full contact training was set to resume on Monday and a return to competitive action was given the green light for July 20.

A rise in coronavirus case numbers in Victoria in recent weeks was the reason for the change of plans.

In a statement released on Friday, the Victorian Government said it made its decision based on advice from the Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton.

“This decision will be tough for many regional Victorian clubs and communities and it was not taken lightly — but is essential to slow the spread of coronavirus and save lives,” the statement said.

“Further easing of restrictions, including target dates, will be considered by Professor Sutton by the end of July.

“The Victorian Government will continue to work with the sport and recreation sector to explore recovery options and help clubs return to play when it is safe to do so.”