Dear Partners, Sponsors, National Executive Committee Members, National Sport Conveners, Honorary Life Members, Provincial Chairpersons and Affiliates
Following the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa of a state of national disaster due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 Toyota National Championships for the physically disabled will not go ahead as planned from the 21 to 26 March in Nelson Mandela Bay.
The outbreak has now become a reality in South Africa and effects all of us. The Honourable President was very clear in his Address to the Nation tonight:
- Gathering of more than 100 people prohibited
- Schools closed from 18 March 2020 until after the “Easter” weekend break.
- Traveling need to be limited, avoid physical contact with others.
Although we have tried to hold back the cancellation of the Toyota National games as long as possible it has now, by the directive of the State President, reach a stage whereby SASAPD has no alternative to inform you that the 2020 Toyota National Championships for the Physically Disabled and Visually Impaired planned for 20 to 26 March 2020 in Port Elizabeth is cancelled.
SASAPD have pledged to be responsible, thoughtful and transparent with our decisions, and despite doing everything possible to create a safe environment for our players and athletes, the risk is just too overwhelming and we cannot put lives at risk.
We do understand the critical importance of this championship for all our athletes, especially those who still want to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games or want to improve their rankings. We have immense understanding of the importance and dependence on this event for athletes’ future. However, we do believe that the health of our athletes outweighs the importance of the championship, and the potential financial losses by far.
Some of our athletes with weaker immune systems, are more vulnerable than others. The risk associated with the nature and realities of our codes and classifications, increase with group travel and accommodation of athletes and officials, and their interactions with classifiers, coaches, assistants and officials at the various facilities.
We urge all Provincial, District and Club structures to stand behind our proud nation and cancel all sporting events in the coming weeks.
Yours in Para-Sport
Moekie Grobbelaar President SASAPD