Shearing Competitions Hit By COVID-19 Crisis
Most of the remaining shearing sports competitions this season seem likely to be cancelled as the nation steps-up preventing the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19.
Four events on one of the busiest weekends of the season this Saturday and Sunday have been cancelled, and major shows the New Zealand Shears and the Royal Easter Show are considering their situations over the next 24 hours.
Already cancelled are the Warkworth show north of Auckland and the Methven A and P Show in Canterbury, each of which had been scheduled for Saturday, and the Waitomo Sports in the King Country and the Flaxbourne A and P Show in Marlborough, both of which had been scheduled for Sunday.
The Waimarino Shears in central North Island town Raetihi on Saturday are still going ahead, according to a decision made by its committee last night.
The committee released a statement today saying it was confident it could handle the measures needed to be put in place according to latest advice, but it is monitoring the situation.
Steps being taken will include the recording of name and contact details for all those present and where they have come from.
The statement included full details of warnings and advice as published by the Ministry of Health, and competitors and supporters are being told to stay away if they are unwell.
New Zealand Shears president Claire Grainger said the committee’s regular meeting was told last night of the position and the advice and given 24 hours to decide whether its annual championships on April 2-4 will go-ahead in Waitomo District Council public facility the Les Munro Centre. A special meeting will be held today starting at 5.15pm.
Held in the centre each year since 1985, the championships generally attract full-house Friday and Saturday night attendances, and around 200 competitors.