Covid Restrictions Force Swimming NZ To Move Short Course Nationals From Auckland to Hamilton

Swimming NZ has moved swiftly to re-locate its SC Nationals 120km from Auckland to Hamilton. Photo Courtesy: Swimming NZ

Swimming New Zealand has today moved swiftly to announce the relocation of next month’s return to racing at the Aon NZ Short Course Championships from Auckland to Hamilton (October 6-10) due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The governing body is currently working with the Waterworld venue management in Hamilton and Swimming Auckland on confirming logistical arrangements to ensure Auckland swimmers are separated from other swimmers, except when racing, should Auckland and Hamilton be on different alert levels at the time of the meet.

This is a requirement that has been imposed on Swimming New Zealand by Hamilton City Council.

The distance between Auckland and Hamilton on the country’s North Island is 120 kilometres.

Steve Johns S NZ

SWIFT MOVE: Swimming NZ Chief Executive Steve Johns. Photo Courtesy: Linkedf In.

Swimming NZ Chief Executive Steve Johns said: “We absolutely appreciate the disruption that this change will cause in terms of travel, accommodation and additional cost, but we believe that the chance of being able to hold this event in Auckland in three weeks time, is very low and therefore we wanted to give everyone as much time as possible to make alternative arrangements for the new venue.

“While this remains incredibly unsettling and uncertain times, we are getting closer to having our first National meet in over seven months which I am sure will be a great celebration of swimming and friendship.

“As a result of this separation requirement, we will be refunding all spectator tickets sold and will reintroduce spectator ticket sales once we have confirmed the logistical arrangements with the Hamilton City Council and venue.

“All sessions of the Championships will be live streamed free-to-air on Sky Sport Next Youtube Channel.

“Should Hamilton not be in Alert Level 1 on the first day of competition then the meet will be cancelled.”

The move follows the New Zealand Government’s decision to extend the existing Covid Alert Levels until at least midnight on Monday September 21.

Next Monday, the Government will consider whether Auckland can move from level 2.5 to level 2 (moving to level 1 is highly unlikely) and the rest of the country moving from level 2 to level 1.

Johns had earlier in the week informed the NZ Swimming community that “If Auckland does move down the alert levels to level 2 mid next week, it is likely, based on past decisions, that Auckland would stay in level 2, with the accompanying restrictions on gatherings of up to 100 people, for up to 14 days taking us into the Short Course Championship due to commence on Tuesday 6 October.

“With the ongoing uncertainty around the change of alert levels and the requirement for a host city to be in level 1 to hold a National Championships event, we are proposing that to significantly increase the likelihood of being able to hold the Short Course Championships, that this event be moved to Waterworld in Hamilton on the same dates.”

Entries for the meet will close at 11.59 pm on Tuesday, September 22. Anyone who has already entered but cannot now compete due to the venue change will be provided with a full refund.


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