After careful consideration, Softball Australia, together with Softball ACT have made the decision to change the venue of the Open Men’s National Championship and U14 Boys’ Regional Championship from Hawker International Softball Centre to Blacktown International Sportspark from 12 – 18 January, 2020.
Following consultations with the ACT Government and the Australian Institute of Sport, poor air quality combined with forecasted high temperatures and the threat of bushfires has led to the decision to relocate.
Over the past three weeks, Canberra’s air quality has fluctuated between poor and hazardous and is expected to deteriorate again towards the end of the week.
“The decision to relocate the tournaments was certainly not taken lightly, however the safety of our participants and spectators is paramount,” said David Pryles, Chief Executive Officer at Softball Australia.
“A State of Alert for the ACT was declared on 2 January and currently remains in place, with the unpredictable nature of Australia’s current bushfires and the resulting poor air quality, we’ve decided to plan for a safe alternative for the tournament.
“I understand the frustration this decision will lead to amongst competitors, their family and friends and apologise for the inconvenience but again this decision has been made with safety for all as a priority.
“Importantly, our State Men’s teams and U14 Regional competitors will have a place to play next week.”
Softball NSW will now serve as host of the event as well as hosting the U18 Women’s National Championship from 19-25 January, it is not expected to be disrupted by the Open Men’s and U14 Boys’ tournaments.
“A sincere thank you to the staff at Softball NSW who have generously agreed to host the Open Men’s and U14 Boys’ Championships,” added Pryles.
“Blacktown will have hosted three weeks of Nationals Championships over the summer and is also the venue for the AP Cup and Summer Slam – Fully Loaded Softball events.
“A huge commitment and I’m sure our competitors are incredibly thankful for them stepping in at the eleventh hour.”
Communication of the venue change has been sent directly to Team Managers and Member State staff with details including accommodation and travel solutions for participants and team staff.
Please note, accommodation and travel alternatives have been organised for players and staff only, spectators or family and friends will be responsible for making their own arrangements. Softball Australia apologises for any inconvenience.
Participants should contact their relevant State Office or Team Manager with further questions.
Following the relocation to Blacktown International Sportspark, a new draw will be released with slight changes to the originally scheduled games.
Softball Australia will communicate more information as it comes to hand.