ANZ Premiership able to resume under COVID-19 Alert Level 2
Netball New Zealand has welcomed the Government’s latest announcement that professional netball and rugby will be able to resume under COVID-19 Alert Level 2.
The Government today confirmed that professional sport, including netball’s ANZ Premiership, would be able to resume domestically when the country moves into Alert Level 2 so long as the necessary public health measures were in place.
Netball New Zealand Chief Executive Jennie Wyllie said they were delighted to be given permission to move forward with the return of the country’s elite domestic competition, when New Zealand moved to level two.
“Both netball and rugby have been working closely with the Government on what training and playing at level two could look like, and a return to play plan for the ANZ Premiership will be underway once the Government confirms the country is ready to move to level two,” she said.
“We have always said we will take the Government’s lead on when it is safe to return and now our focus turns to ensuring we have a safe environment for that to happen.”
Wyllie said the key priority remained the safety of all those involved with the ANZ Premiership which meant ensuring that systems were in place to implement the public health measures, including contact tracing and hygiene requirements.
As per advice given by the Sport and Recreation Minister regarding some modifications needed for training, play and competition, Netball NZ has been working closely with Sport NZ and WorkSafe on how these would be put into place.
The rules around mass gatherings would still apply during Alert Level 2 meaning the ANZ Premiership will not be played in front of crowds.
“The health and safety of our teams is our number one priority,” Wyllie said.
Sky Chief Executive Martin Stewart said they too were thrilled that the ANZ Premiership had been given the green light to resume.
“This is news that is welcomed by so many, but most importantly the netball fans who have been waiting to watch live netball again. Competitive sport brings great enjoyment to many New Zealanders, and we’re thrilled to be gearing up to deliver it again,” he said.
Netball NZ will confirm a start date for the resumption of the ANZ Premiership, dependent on when New Zealand moves to Alert Level 2.
Just one full round was played in March, including the match between the Splice Construction Magic and Ascot Park Hotel Steel played in front of an empty stadium, before the country went into lockdown.