INDEPENDENT NEWS

Showpiece Badminton New Zealand Event Postponed

Published: Tue 24 Mar 2020 08:22 AM
Badminton New Zealand has today announced the decision to suspend and postpone the Barfoot & Thompson New Zealand Badminton Open, scheduled for April 28 to May 3, 2020 at the Eventfinda Stadium on the North Shore.
Given the current climate in relation to COVID-19, the Board of Badminton New Zealand communicated to the Badminton World Federation (BWF) over the weekend what was ultimately the only option open to them.
The decision is in keeping with advice from the New Zealand Government and is in the best interests of the players, coaches, staff, volunteers and wider community to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
CEO of Badminton New Zealand Joe Hitchcock’s thoughts are with everyone involved in the tournament, but also with the wider community.
“We have left this decision as late as practical to give the tournament every chance of proceeding and yet have also wanted to communicate in a timely manner that allows our stakeholders, partners, volunteers and everyone working on the event the clarity required to change their plans accordingly.
“This is a significant disappointment for our sport in postponing our highest profile event on the calendar - one that our performance players aspire to and the fans love attending. With many other tournaments already affected, we were hopeful to stage the New Zealand Open and provide international players with an opportunity to continue building towards the Olympics, but unfortunately we are another result of the COVID-19 virus and the need to focus on stopping its spread, for the wider good of our community.
“Sport must simply take a back seat for now given what is happening in the world - we will continue to communicate with our badminton community to reiterate all that they can do within their own communities and regions to mitigate the spread of the virus and to stay healthy.
While the postponement was disappointing, Hitchcock reinforced that Badminton New Zealand was working closely with BWF and their partners to investigate options to reschedule the tournament later in the year.
“We have a supportive group of partners and stakeholders committed to helping us to deliver the Barfoot & Thompson New Zealand Badminton Open. We will be ready to stage the event later in the year if an alternate time is feasible.”
The Barfoot & Thompson New Zealand Open is a Super 300 event on the HSBC BWF World Tour.

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