Virus ends Millicent’s basketball season

THE Millicent and District Basketball Association is one of the latest sporting bodies to stop proceedings due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

With the pandemic growing around the world, a statement on Tuesday evening announced the closure of play at Peter Seebohm Stadium for the foreseeable future.

Earlier in the week, the association hoped the on-court action would continue.

However, the current fluid situation forced the committee to cancel play immediately.

Millicent and District Basketball Association stadium manager Peter Seebohm said it was a tough call to make after initially hoping to continue into April.

“We had a hook up with our committee on Sunday and we decided we were going to keep going until the school holidays, but circumstances started to change,” he said.

“We thought we were reasonably low risk, but with the closure of football and netball competitions, we felt we basically had to make that decision based on how the community is feeling.

“It was a sad day.”

The decision means the finals of the current senior competition will not go ahead, while the ongoing junior grades have also been cancelled.

The Under 10 competition was played at the venue as recently as Tuesday night, but it was at this moment Seebohm realised the time had come to halt proceedings after some players chose to remain at home.

“We had our Under 10’s playing the other night and received a few messages that kids will not come due to the situation,” he said.

“When we started getting messages from parents, that forced our hand.

“It was really unfortunate, but in these uncertain times you have to err on the side of safety.

“We would have hated for anyone to come back to us and say we should have shut down earlier.”

With no competition being held at the stadium, Seebohm said he has been forced to lock the venue’s doors, despite interest from the community.

“We have had a few people ask if they can come down and shoot, but if we open the stadium up, we are basically back to where we were,” he said.

“We are in the process of shutting up the stadium and turning things off, which is pretty sad.”

Seebohm said he is hopeful the call will not hurt the association in the future, but is concerned with many areas such as the stadium’s expected upgrades now under a cloud of uncertainty.

“We had been embarking on trying to make some modifications to our stadium and improve our facilities, but the money we had set aside for that will likely be consumed while we are closed with no income,” he said.

“If some of the predictions come to light, we might have to make decisions on possibly my position as a paid member of the association.

“We just hope this is all over and done with by October, so our junior tournament can be held because that is a major fundraiser here.

“There are some difficult situations for many local clubs coming up, so we will try to keep afloat.”