As all will be aware, right across the state of NSW, there have been devastating weather events and sustained rainfall. These events have impacted a number of our affiliates and our touch footballing community. The mid-north coast region has also been affected by the weather event and consistent rainfall since November 2021. This has resulted in over 900ml of rain falling at the Tuffins Lane precinct since December 1, 2021.
In discussion with Council, they have advised that they have not been able to get mowers on the venue since Tuesday, February 22. Further discussion has indicated that with the amount of rain received over this extended period, there is a need for a minimum of five days of uninterrupted sunshine to dry the fields out to commence preparations for an event the size of the State Cup. The flow-on effect of this much rain is the total saturation of fields and each further period of rain only adding to topping up the amount of water currently sitting on the fields and the softness of the grounds.
Unfortunately, the predicted weather forecast across several weather websites does not indicate this possibility. There are short periods of respite expected. However, these are also interspersed with several days of rain predicted, with some significant downpours.
Since the cancellation of the Junior State Cup Northern Conference, we have also looked at possible alternate venues across NSW that both had field and accommodation capacity with a view to a possible move of the State Cup. It would be no surprise to anyone that this would also present significant challenges to the organisation and even more so to our volunteers and participants. We identified seven venues we felt might be a possibility. However, enquiries at all have resulted in either:
- the venue has been impacted by the weather event and therefore not available,
- have other bookings so are not available,
- have localised festivals or events rendering no accommodation available, a belief that the timeframe is too short for venue and area to be ready for such a significant event.
As such, none were an option.
When considering all the best available evidence and the predicted weather patterns for the next three weeks, the difficult and devastating decision has been made to cancel the State Cup set down for March 25-27. The Board and staff felt that an early decision was in the best interest of all our members that the event would not proceed. This would give Affiliates and members the best opportunity to roll forward accommodation bookings to the December event or receive refunds.
We acknowledged the disappointment this decision will have on our community; the NSWTA shares the same and takes no joy in having to make such a decision, especially on the back of the Northern Junior State Cup and the National Touch League being affected by the weather event.
We will work with Affiliates over the coming days to coordinate the refunds of Registration fees.
Best wishes and stay safe.