Omicron outbreak forces cancellation of 3×3 Secondary Schools Nationals

Basketball New Zealand (BBNZ) has made the difficult decision to cancel the 3×3 Secondary Schools Nationals scheduled for late-March in Auckland.

Following a risk assessment by the BBNZ Events staff, and the ongoing Omicron outbreak, it was deemed that the event should not go ahead with the safety of players and staff in mind.

In a statement sent out by School Sport NZ (SSNZ) on Monday they said they completely support the decision to cancel.

“We are once again facing a significant challenge to deliver events against the backdrop of increasing COVID-19 community transmission across most areas of Aotearoa New Zealand.

“While this will be yet another setback for students and schools, we support and thank all of our sport partners who will equally share in the disappointment of further cancellations.”

Logistically, it was found to be too difficult to run a national event with the risk of isolation and spread of Covid.

BBNZ General Manager Events David Huxford said while it’s unfortunate the event won’t be able to go ahead, he believes this is the best decision for everyone involved.

“We know the students had been looking forward to this event and will be disappointed, but we have to put their safety, and the safety of all event staff and support people, first in this instance,” said Huxford.

“It’s important for us to ensure that basketball can continue for people under the Red setting, but we need to balance that with the safety of the students and the implications around staff or students contracting – and spreading – Covid if the event still went ahead.

“There’s particular risk around flying students to and from this event, and them having to isolate away from home if they contracted Covid at the event.”

BBNZ looks forward to hosting this tournament again in 2023, and will continue to work with SSNZ to look at other options that will allow students to be able to participate in 3X3 events this year.