With the cancellation of 85 events during the Winter Tournament Week window, we appreciate and share the disappointment that all schools, families, and students will be feeling. We would like to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of all those who make these such special occasions in the lives of Rangatahi. To have it taken away, for a second successive year, is a cruel blow. 

Sport provides us with many lessons, to learn how nothing comes without hard work, to lead and be a part of a team, to be resilient, to win with humility and move on from losses. It is vitally important that we look out for each other at this time, acknowledge our shared loss, and reset our goals.

The Winter Tournament Week window was scheduled to deliver 85 events across every major region in New Zealand with potentially 30,000 students, staff, coaches, and parents involved in the events. Events typically involve multi-night accommodation in communal facilities, inter regional travel, some of which is through airports. 47 of the 85 events stated that they could only operate if at Alert Level 1. At least 80% of the events scheduled for Winter Tournament Week involve gathering sizes of over 100 people, which is the maximum permitted in a confined area at alert level 2. The current uncertainty surrounding moves down and through alert levels, regional variations to alert level protocols and partnered with the threat that the current Delta variant poses, make it is almost impossible to plan with any certainty for the rescheduling of events on the School Sport NZ calendar. Supporting schools reintegrate students back to school, when it is safe to do so, is the primary objective at this time.

In providing certainty for schools and sports, School Sport NZ have determined that the Winter Tournament Week window will not be rescheduled within term 3, and that the events that have been cancelled are extremely unlikely to be rescheduled on the School Sport NZ calendar at a later date. Our priority is supporting local and regional sport restart as safely and as early as possible. Regional Sport Directors and School Sport offices will be working directly with schools, regional sport organisations and local authorities to determine what, when, and where sport opportunities are possible to resume.

We appreciate that schools will now look to event providers for refunds of entry fees. Sports and event providers are working on providing refunds where possible. We ask that schools and families show patience as our partners work through this process, and remember, be kind!

Many sports and events that have had events cancelled are working to reconfirm events on the School Sport NZ event calendar in 2022 in the same locations to help with accommodation bookings for schools to rollover. Again, they are working through this process as quickly as possible and we will share updates from individual sports as quickly as possible. 

School Sport NZ will continue to assess events currently scheduled on the calendar of events as appropriate and as Government provide updates to alert level protocols. The health and safety of all New Zealander’s must be the primary consideration as we move through this period of uncertainty. 

It is likely that the guidance within alert level protocols will be updated as we move back down and through alert levels, as we have already seen with compulsory mask use and contact tracing. We will endeavour to provide updates as and when these changes happen in respect to sport. The Sport NZ website is the definitive source for this information and we encourage all to regularly check in with this. You can find their information here

Similarly, understanding the education context as it pertains to alert level protocols and the guidance that the Ministry of Education is providing schools is important. The Ministry of Education provide regular updates to the sector, these can be found here

Keep safe and fingers crossed that we will get an opportunity to conclude our winter sport seasons across the country.