On 16 March 2020, the New Zealand Government advised public events or mass gatherings to be held where 500 or more people are together in one place at one time, should be cancelled.
In light of the above announcement, Rowing NZ has evaluated all possible risks to those involved in events scheduled to take place in the near future, as well as the possible risks posed to the wider community, and has subsequently cancelled a number of events.
Today’s decisions have been based upon crucial factors surrounding the event formats, including a high number of athlete, coach and Rowing NZ staff involvement, significant inter-island travel requirements, and temporary shared living environments.
Rowing NZ understands this announcement will be sadly received by the rowing community directly affected, but remain supportive of the government’s COVID-19 containment initiatives, and understand their intent is to avoid non-essential gatherings that will increase the community risk for the spread of COVID-19. The following events will be affected:
2020 Aon Maadi Cup
On 16 March, School Sport NZ confirmed that all events on the School Sport NZ national calendar are suspended, including the 2020 Aon Maadi Cup.
We therefore regretted to inform the rowing community on the same date that the 2020 Aon Maadi Cup to be held at Lake Ruataniwha, Twizel, 30 March – 4 April 2020 will not be proceeding.
The Board of New Zealand Secondary School Rowing Association (NZSSRA) then met to review policy and assess the available options including postponement, reduced event size and hosting of the event in other locations.
In light of announcements made by the Prime Minister and Ministry of Health - Manatū Hauora, Rowing NZ, the Rowing NZ Schools Committee and the New Zealand Secondary School Rowing Association (NZSSRA) today advise that the 2020 Aon Maadi Cup is cancelled.
This decision was made due to significant factors, including but not limited to; participants in attendance would have be coming from, and returning to, communities all across New Zealand, that the risk of transmission is significantly higher in situations in which airports, air travel and temporary accommodation are involved, that the event is a non-ticketed event (causing significant barriers to traceability), that a reduction to U18 only participants would not reduce below 500 attendees, and that New Zealand’s rowing volunteer base is vulnerable to COVID-19 due to their average age.
Collectively, our first priority is the health and safety of students, their whanau, coaches, staff and event volunteers. Our second priority is working with the New Zealand Government and the Ministry of Health - Manatū Hauora to prevent further transmission of the COVID-19 within our community.
2020 U18 North v South Island Regatta
The U18 Regatta scheduled to take place at Lake Karapiro from 14-17 April has been cancelled.
Trials for both North and South Island teams (scheduled for the week preceding the regatta) have also been cancelled.
2020 Aon New Zealand University Rowing Championships
The 2020 Aon New Zealand University Rowing Championships scheduled to take place at Lake Ruataniwha from 10-11 April has been cancelled.
Trials for the University Trans-Tasman Team (scheduled to be held 12 April - at the conclusion of the 2020 Aon New Zealand University Rowing Championships) have been cancelled.
2020 University Trans-Tasman Team
With the uncertainty surrounding travel between New Zealand and Australia and current self-isolation required upon entering into either country, this event has been cancelled.
2020 FISU World University Championships
Rowing NZ will review planning surrounding the 2020 FISU World University Championships trials currently scheduled to run between 29 April – 1 May at Lake Karapiro, and will make an announcement by Friday 20 March. All nominees will be contacted directly by Rowing NZ.
FISU have previously announced that the 2020 FISU World University Championships to be hosted in Zagreb, Croatia has been cancelled due to a delay with venue renovations. FISU are considering an alternative venue.
2020 Junior Trials
An announcement relating to the Junior trials will be made by Friday 20 March.
All Junior nominees will be contacted directly by Rowing NZ.
U21 Trials and Trans-Tasman Regatta
Rowing NZ will review planning surrounding the 2020 U21 Trans-Tasman Regatta currently scheduled to take place between 28 June and 18 July.
An announcement will be made by Friday 20 March regarding the regatta and timing of the trials.
The U21 nomination deadline is 20 April. All athletes nominated prior to Friday 20 March will be contacted directly by Rowing NZ.