SNZ update on NZ Opens

2020-03-15

SNZ have sent out the following update on NZ Opens given the COVID-19 situation.

It is likely that SNZ will update again this week after the government has stated what its policy is regarding large gatherings.  This policy on large gatherings is expected to be relevant to both NZ Opens and NAGS

IMPORTANT MESSAGE RELATING TO
Covid-19 and the Aon NZ OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS
Sunday 15th March 2020
Dear swimming community,
 
As I am sure you will all agree, we are in unprecedented times with the global impact of the Covid-19 virus (Coronavirus) which is having a significant impact on people’s travel plans and the delivery of large sporting events. 
 
The Swimming NZ team and board have been monitoring the developments daily and have been in constant communication discussing the impact of this global pandemic on our staff, athletes, volunteers and the staging of upcoming events.  Information is being sourced from many different authorities including the Government, Ministry of Health, High Performance Sport NZ, Sport NZ and of course our own medical advisers.
 
In response to the latest developments, including the announcement late yesterday relating to the need for all inbound travellers to NZ needing to self-isolate for 14 days, we have today made the following decision relating to the Aon NZ Open Championships (Championships) due to start on 31 March:
 
  1. The Championships will continue as planned but we will not be allowing spectators to enter the facility.
  2. The Championships will be live streamed free-to-air on the Sky Sport Next YouTube channel.
  3. We will be holding an additional Olympic trial event in June for those athletes who are not able to compete at the Championships due to the existing inbound travel restrictions and/or are unable to trial at the pre-approved northern hemisphere events due to these being cancelled.  Details of this additional Olympic trial event will be notified within the next 72 hours.
We will continue to monitor this situation daily and will update the swimming community each day at 10 am with further information.
 
We are also very aware that the Government will likely issue a statement over the coming days relating to the banning of large public gatherings. Depending on the threshold announced for these gatherings, this could have an impact on our ability to hold the Championships and other national events over the next few months. We will make a call on this once the Government’s position has been announced.
 
Once again, these are unprecedented times with information changing daily. The health, safety and well-being of our swimming community is our number one priority and we will, therefore, do all that is necessary to ensure that this is not affected. 
 
Kind regards
Steve Johns
Swimming New Zealand CEO