The annual SPAR Eastern Cape Schoolgirls Hockey Challenge will no longer make its scheduled start next week due to government restrictions over the coronavirus outbreak.
It is hoped that the tournaments will take place later in the year, but national tournament director Les Galloway said that would depend on the schools’ other sporting commitments.
The first event was to have taken place in Grahamstown on April 5. Other tournaments were pencilled in for April and May, with the provincial finals set for July 25 and 26 in Port Elizabeth.
“Given the announcement by the President and a directive from SA Hockey we have had to postpone indefinitely our 2020 SPAR Eastern Cape tournaments,” said Galloway in a message to the schools.
“SPAR fully supports this decision even though they love the Hockey Challenges as much as they hope you love participating.”
SPAR EC sponsorship and events manager Alan Stapleton said it was a sad time for sport, but they fully understood the sensitive nature of the situation.
“As throughout the world, we are going through some tough times in South Africa, with our lives in every aspect being affected by Covid-19,” he said.
“We believe if we adhere to the restrictions that have been put in place by the government and follow the right protocols we as a nation can together overcome the current situation.”
He added that confirmation of any new dates would be released on the retailer’s digital platforms and in the media as soon as they became available.