For the second time in as many years, the South Coast Black Cockatoos have been forced to postpone the Koori Knockout due to COVID-19.
After already pushing back the original 50th tournament, scheduled to be held at Bomaderry, by 12 months, the Black Cockatoos committee announced on Tuesday that this year's October long weekend carnival has once again been delayed.
"The South Coast Black Cockatoos have continued to monitor the COVID-19 situation and its possible impacts on our ability to host a safe and successful knockout event in recent weeks," a SCBC spokesperson said.
"The recent extension of the lockdown until August 28 in Greater Sydney and the sustained high number of new COVID cases, make it impossible to host an event that will guarantee the safety and wellbeing of teams, attendees, and the wider community.
"As such, we regrettably, based on the current health advice, have made the difficult, yet necessary decision to postpone the Koori Knockout until October 2022."
The decision to postpone till October 2022 has also considered the following:
- Sanctioning will not happen during the NRL season.
- The South Coast region is a high demand holiday region in summer and this would impact accommodation options at the peak of that season.
The SCBC committee, who won the right to host the 50th anniversary tournament by taking out the 2019 carnival, will need to work with Shoalhaven City Council regarding grounds and venues.
"While the COVID-19 pandemic remains a significant challenge for mass gathering events, the SCBC committee remains committed to hosting a successful 50th Koori Knockout event in a COVID-safe environment for it teams, attendees and the wider community," a SCBC spokesperson said.
"SCBC will continue to engage with NSW Health and look forward to hosting the Knockout in 2022 when NSW and Greater Sydney is expected to be able to live freely and in a COVID-safe environment."