2020 SPUR SCHOOLS MOUNTAIN BIKE LEAGUE SEASON UPDATE

Photo credit: Henk Neuhoff/Chris Hitchcock

Considering the wide-ranging impact of COVID-19 on the world in general, including restrictions on events and gatherings, the Spur Schools MTB League (SSMTBL) is instituting an immediate DELAY in the start of the 2020 LEAGUE.

The League, in consultation with title sponsor Spur Steak Ranches and governing body Schools Cycling South Africa (SCSA) has put in place the following interim changes to the schedule.

1)    Immediately delay the season start to 11 July, after the winter school holidays.

2)    Postpone all League and SCSA scheduled activities including Team manager’s, coaching and Commissaire training until further notice

3)   Events that are lost due to the late start may or may not be rescheduled depending on the region.

4)   The 11 July start date will be informed by any changes   on restrictions regarding COVID-19 being lifted by 30 June and the relevant permitting and permissions are in place.

5)   Should the 30th June pass without sufficient easing of COVID-19 restrictions, the League will re-assess the viability of producing the 2020 Season.

6) All  of the above decisions  are aligned  with  the Department of Education’s stance around the eligibility of schools to resume participation in school sports.

Background to the decision

1)    All April events are immediately cancelled under government Disaster Management Guidelines (Refer to Point 3 above)

2)    The odds that May events will be approved is low.

3)    There are only 2 June events on our calendar due to exams and holidays.

4)    Many schools have already indicated internally, that sport will only resume on 30 June.

5)    Disrupted events account for 25% of our calendar, leaving enough room in the 3rd term to produce a successful and viable competition.

6)    The delay gives the League and stakeholders 3 full months to monitor the COVID-19 situation and will allow for ample time to make clear and informed decisions on the 2020 Season.

“Schools Cycling South Africa (SCSA) is of firm belief that everyone can and should contribute to preventing or slowing down the spread of COVID 19 and it is obvious that Schools have a critical role to play. SCSA will follow the guidelines of our Government and Department of Education relating to the above.

“Further measures may be implemented on short notice by the Schools and Education and/or Public health authorities. SCSA in conjunction with the League are taking our responsibility seriously and will monitor this closely.” – Annelize Ziehl-Owens, President SCSA

“Spur Steak Ranches fully supports the measures proposed to delay the season and want to urge our League family to take this time to stay safe and healthy by following the designated protocol at all times. It is now the time for South Africans to work together to bring swift closure to this pandemic.” – Sacha Du Plessis Chief, Marketing Officer Spur Corporation.

“The League organisers, sponsors, and stakeholders want to state clearly that the production of a successful League Season comes second to the health and safety of our participants, coordinators and their families. These are extraordinary times calling for extraordinary measures and the League will strive to employ best practice at all times.” – Meurant Botha, Spur Schools MTB League Director.

In the meantime, we urge our participants, partners and stakeholders and their families to stay healthy by following COVID-19 protocol strictly at all times.