As a testament to how quickly the tide can turn in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the nation of New Zealand has had to peel back its declared victory over the illness due to a recent spike in domestic cases.
In June of this year, New Zealand national health officials said that aggressive and early action against the pandemic, along with unique geography as an island nation, led them to declare NZL as corona-free. As a result of the last known infect person having recovered that month, the nation eased all restrictions with life returning to relatively normal.
This meant that sport could get back to swing, with Swimming New Zealand announcing its first meet back as the Secondary School Championships, which were scheduled for August 20th-23rd. However, today, August 14th, Swimming New Zealand has announced the cancellation of the event in light of recent coronavirus data.
The nation had entered August relatively quietly, with just a one-off positive test here and there with several days’ worth of zero new positive coronavirus cases. However, August 11th saw 4 new cases reported in just that day, followed by a spike on August 13th of 14 new cases of the virus.
With this in mind, Swimming New Zealand revealed the following regarding the aforementioned Secondary School Championships:
With the Governments Covid-19 announcement that has just been made, and the continuation of Alert Level 3 in Auckland and Alert Level 2 for the rest of the country, we have no choice but to postpone next weeks NZ Secondary School Championships. I know this will be a further blow to those swimmers who had been preparing for NAGs, had that cancelled, and have for the past couple of months been preparing to get back into racing via the Secondary School Champs but the postponement of this event is unavoidable under the current Alert Level status.
We are currently looking at whether we will be able to reschedule the event to another date later in the year and will update you all on this next Friday 21st with either a rescheduled date for the event or confirmation that the event has been cancelled for the year.
These remain challenging times for us all so please keep safe and take care.