Following the email yesterday asking for your feedback on whether, under current Covid-19 conditions, you and your coach are still considering attending the Olympic trials due to commence next Tuesday. We have had a great response from you and by far the overwhelming feedback is that while you want to swim, you also believe that in the interest of the health, safety and wellbeing of those who will need to travel to the event, from both within Auckland and around the country, the trial should be cancelled. We do also acknowledge that there are those of you who still want to swim and believe that the trial should continue.
Since the Government announced the new alert levels on Saturday, we have received an increasing amount of emails and phone calls asking for a decision on the status of the trials to be made quickly. Yesterday afternoon, we held had a phone call with members of the HP team, Nick Tongue (SNZ Board chair) and Rebecca Dubber (SNZ Athlete Leadership Group) and Dale Johnson (SNZ Event Manager) to discuss the trials and the impact that the Governments new alert levels and restrictions will have on our ability to hold the event.
With all the information that we have and placing the health, safety and wellbeing of the technical officials required at the event, SNZ event staff, coaches and you the athletes at the centre of our decision making, we have decided that the Olympic trials scheduled to commence next Tuesday will be cancelled.
We absolutely understand that this decision will have a significant impact on your Olympic aspirations but we also know that these uncertain times are impacting ALL athletes ability worldwide to train, trial and prepare for the games which themselves, may or may not continue as planned in July.
Our attention will now focus on planning for the Aon NZ Open Championships/Olympic Trials due to commence on Tuesday 2 June. Like you all, we will continue to monitor ever changing Covid-19 status which may further impact on the format of the Opens/trials in June with a go/no-go decision to be made on May 11 as previously communicated. For your information, we understand from communication from the International Olympic Committee overnight, that a decision on the future of the Tokyo Games will be made within the next four weeks.
We can no longer look at the impact of this pandemic simply through the Swimming NZ lens and what it means for ‘us’ as an organisation but must now look at the wider picture and how this pandemic is impacting everyone in NZ.
The HP team will reach out to all long-list athletes over the coming days to discuss this decision and the impact that this will have on your individual programmes, particularly those who have had their training pools closed, as we collectively navigate our way through daily uncertainty.
Kia kaha and stay safe,
Chief Executive Officer