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23 June 2020
The 2020 senior Wimmera Football League and Wimmera Netball Association seasons have been cancelled.
Commission and club leaders met in Horsham last night, with an inability to have crowds at games a key driver behind their decision to forgo senior competitions this year.
The WFL and WNA will turn their focus to junior football and netball competitions, to allow young community members an opportunity to play football or netball this year.
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Here is the official statement:
The Wimmera Football League and the Wimmera Netball Association commissions and clubs have met and announced the decision to cancel the WFL and WNA senior football and netball premiership season for 2020.
This is a difficult but necessary decision that gives clarity to all the key stakeholders. Clubs were supportive of a united approach to the outcome of the 2020 senior football and netball premiership season.
The WFL and WNA and the nine clubs’ intention is to turn their focus to the junior football and netball competition, in an attempt to develop a structure that would allow those young players that wish to play football or netball in season 2020 the opportunity to do so.
It is the WFL and WNA's belief that all junior players should be given the opportunity to play safely in some capacity if they opt to do so, with the support of their club.
This decision has been made after several meetings with all the WFL and WNA clubs and gathering the feedback from the key stakeholders. This decision allows all clubs the opportunity to focus on the 2021 season and return full of energy and with a renewed passion for football and netball.
The major concerns expressed by all stakeholders was the inability to have crowds attend the scheduled games, in light of the announcements by the State Government to reinstate some restrictions, both the WFL and WNA could not see crowds returning to their venues in the allocated time frame. The burden placed on volunteers, the inability to effectively manage crowds to comply with the State Government restrictions, health concerns with COVID-19 and varying financial implications where also major factors in the decision.
A safe and healthy environment for all members and volunteers moving forward into 2021 is the WFL and WNA's goal, ensuring the ongoing sustainability of the WFL and WNA and its nine clubs.
The WFL and WNA will now continue to work closely and collaboratively with AFL Victoria, Netball Victoria and all clubs to manage the associated issues stemming from the cancellation of the senior competition.