THE 2020 NSW State Cup touch football competition has been given the green light for December but it will be played across designated zones and there will be no spectators this year.
The decision comes after months of negotiations and planning between the NSW Touch Association (NSWTA) in conjunction with Port Macquarie-Hastings Council and assistance from the Member for Port Macquarie Leslie William.
The NSW Health Minister Brad Hazard has approved an NSWTA submission for discrete zones at the event. This means there will be four zones across the precinct that can have up to 500 persons at any one time inclusive of participants and officials.
It will present several logistical challenges in the delivery of the event and meeting Public Health Order and NSW Health exemption conditions.
Given the large numbers of participants, the event will be played under the Arrive Play Leave Protocol. It will also be a non-spectator event.
"We're coming to terms with what will be a different event. However, we are thankful we have been granted the exemption from the government and excited we can continue with the event," NSWTA general manager Dean Russell said.
"It is a year like no other and as an organisation, along with our participants, we have to pivot to what is the new norm in 2020.
"There has been, and continues to be, a lot of planning go into the event to ensure we are providing a safe approach that meets the NSW Public Health Order and the exemption. Indeed it is this safety planning that formed the bulk of our submission that has been approved."
Council's acting director strategy and growth, Liesa Davies said Port Macquarie-Hastings Council is pleased with the news that the NSW State Cup is able to go ahead this year in a COVID-safe manner.
"It has been a challenging year for many in our community. This includes businesses who receive a boost each December as a result of visitors for the annual State Cup, which is a well-known fixture on our local calendar," Ms Davies said.
"We look forward to welcoming players, extend best wishes to locals participating and thank the NSW Touch Association for their ongoing COVID-safe planning efforts to ensure the safety of both participants and our community during the event."
The 2020 State Cup will be played from Friday, December 4 through to Sunday, December 6.