Hang the frocks back up, see you next year!

LAST month, Adelaide Plains Netball Association (APNA), Northern Areas Netball Association (NANA) and North Eastern Netball Association (NENA) followed the lead of Yorke Peninsula, Port Lincoln and Greater Flinders netball association and voted to cancel the netball season for 2020.

This decision now leaves all associations under the ‘Northern Regional Netball Committee’ (NRNC) without a competition.

Each club was represented at the aligned association meetings where delegates put the season cancellation decision to a vote.

The decision followed weeks of discussions with committees, reviewing all requirements to ensure a COVID-safe environment.

All clubs felt the responsibility of ensuring the health, safety and well-being of the netball community was a priority during these unprecedented times.

All associations raised concerns around the implementation of a season under the strict COVID-19 restrictions.

APNA president Stacey Baldry wrote a letter on behalf of the APNA committee to all players acknowledging the place sport plays in local communities, and understood this decision would be disappointing for some.

“We are hoping that later in the year we may be able to offer some specialist development sessions or a round robin competition pending safety issues surrounding COVID-19 and we will keep you posted regarding this,” Stacey wrote in the letter.

“We will be back bigger and better in 2021, ensuring our members, clubs and association are given the best opportunities to succeed.

“Netball has not gone away forever; we are just taking a short break.”

The annual netball Country Championships normally held over the June long weekend, were cancelled on March 20, in what would have been the 80th meeting of the three-day event, while the SAPSASA netball carnival in July is still waiting on a decision if it goes ahead or not.

The Northern Region Netball Academy, comprising APNA, NANA, NENA and YPNA players have all been given home training programs, with hopes for some face-to-face training sessions before the Academy Games in October, pending restrictions lifting.

During winter, netball plays a big part in the lives of the Williams’ sisters of Two Wells.

Zoe, Grace and Jayde all play in the junior competition and will miss the fun, fitness and friendship of training nights and game day.

“I love netball,” 10-year-old Jayde said.

“I love the competitive side of it.

“Winning is fun but playing with my friends is the best and I will miss this.”

How the history books will record season 2020 is something we are all waiting to find out.

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