‘Heartbreaking’: Grand Prix cancelled again

Original article by Patrick Durkin
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 7 : 7-Jul-21

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the Victorian government to cancel the Australian Formula One Grand Prix for a second year. The 2021 race had already been rescheduled from March to November; the government has attributed its cancellation to factors such as the pace of the national vaccination rollout and a recent decision to slash the weekly cap on international arrivals. The logistics involved in the mandatory 14-day quarantine period for drivers and support teams is also said to have contributed to the Grand Prix’s cancellation. The Phillip Island round of the MotoGP world championship will also not be staged in 2021.


Big team but little expectation on Games

Original article by Michael Bleby
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 6-Jul-21

Australia will send a team of 472 athletes to the Tokyo Olympic Games, including 254 women and a record 16 indigenous athletes. Australia will compete in 33 sports at the coronavirus-delayed Olympics; however, the team’s chef de mission Ian Chesterman says the Australian Olympic Committee has chosen not to issue an official forecasts about the number of medals that the nation will win. The Australian team fell short of medal expectations at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.


NRL players under tight COVID-19 restrictions, State of Origin III may be moved from Sydney

Original article by
abc.net au – Page: Online : 29-Jun-21

The Australian Rugby League Commission will meet on 29 June to decide how to progress the NRL competition in the wake of the current COVID-19 situation. Four Sydney clubs are preparing for matches without crowds, but could find themselves being moved after the meeting. Players and officials have been placed on level four biosecurity protocols, which include restrictions such as not having visitors to their home, while the ARLC needs to decide whether to move the third State of Origin match on 14 July from Sydney. Newcastle is an option if it wants to keep the game in NSW, while Gold Coast and Melbourne are interstate options.


Australian Open could be forced offshore due to coronavirus border closure

Original article by Catherine Murphy
abc.net au – Page: Online : 17-May-21

Tennis players are said to be unwilling to go through two weeks of hotel quarantine again before the Australian Open if the nation’s international borders remain closed until mid-2022. It is believed that Tennis Australia is prepared to move the 2022 Australian Open to Doha or Dubai if it and the federal government cannot come to an agreement on less rigid quarantine arrangements. Melbourne’s Formula One grand prix will also need quarantine arrangements to be eased if it is to go ahead in November, after it was switched from March.


Tennis year unworkable if quarantine remains, says Djokovic

Original article by Greg Baum
The Age – Page: Online : 17-Feb-21

Novak Djokovic says there is a growing view among players that the 2021 tennis season will be unviable if they have to quarantine for 14 days before each tournament. The world number one-ranked men’s player has raised the possibility of staging the rest of the year’s major tournaments in a single location, and contends that the issue must be addressed quickly given that the season has begun. Djokovic adds that players had accepted the Australian Open quarantine measures as it is a grand slam, but notes that many ATP tournaments in 2021 will have reduced prizemoney.


Fans dunked as NBL postpones season opener on virus outbreaks

Original article by Jessica Gardner
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 7-Jan-21

The first game of the 2021 National Basketball League was due to be played in regional Victoria on 10 January between the NBL’s two Melbourne teams. However, the recent COVID-19 outbreaks in Sydney and Melbourne has seen that game postponed, and the first game will now be held on 15 January between the Cairns Taipans and the Hawks in Cairns. The first two rounds of the season will be restricted to virus-free locations, while the postponed Melbourne derby has been tentatively scheduled for Bendigo on 31 January.


Reduced capacity an income bouncer

Original article by Glenda Korporaal
The Australian – Page: 13 & 16 : 7-Jan-21

Venues New South Wales chairman Tony Shepherd says the Sydney Cricket Ground will lose money on the third Test as a result of the reduced capacity of 12,000. Shepherd, who is a former president of the Business Council of Australia, notes the SCG only gets money from the sale of tickets and food and beverage, but that it respects the decision of the NSW government and health authorities regarding reduced crowd numbers. Shepherd says it is very important that sport continues at the present time, as he says it is what keeps people healthy and "holds this country together"


Victoria restrictions could delay Grand Prix

Original article by Tessa Akerman
The Australian – Page: Online : 6-Jan-21

Police minister Lisa Neville says the Victorian government is having ongoing discussions about the timing and staging of the Melbourne Grand Prix with Australian Grand Prix Corporation and Formula 1. The race is normally held in late March, but may be rescheduled because of the state’s COVID-19 restrictions. Meanwhile, a new quarantine hotel for international tennis players coming to the Australian Open has had to be secured, after some of the penthouse owners at the Westin Melbourne, which had been due to host the players, threatened Supreme Court action over COVID-19 concerns.


Fans face health bans, refunds

Original article by Finbar O’Mallon
The Australian Financial Review – Page: Online : 5-Jan-21

Crowd numbers for the third Test at the SCG have been capped at 25 per cent of capacity as the SCG Trust responds to Sydney’s current COVID-19 outbreak. Current ticket holders for the game will be refunded and given the chance to repurchase tickets, while food and beverage outlets are being increased to prevent crowding. Residents of the northern zone of the northern beaches will be barred from attending, as well as anyone who has visited COVID-19-affected venues. The SCG Trust hopes to lift crowd limits if Sydney’s COVID-19 numbers improve before the Test starts on 7 January.


AFL modelling the ‘worst case scenario’, a second season played in interstate bubbles

Original article by Michael Warner, Glenn McFarlane
The Australian – Page: 24 : 30-Oct-20

The Australian Football League is expected to release details of the length of the 2021 season and the length of quarters in early December. Western Bulldogs president Peter Gordon has confirmed the AFL’s modelling for 2021 includes the possibility of using hubs again in the event of another outbreak of COVID-19, while Hawthorn president Jeff Kennett says he is hopeful that AFL crowds in Victoria will get back to 50 per cent capacity in 2021. Gordon says colder weather seems to make the virus harder to control, so a winter sport such as the AFL should not get complacent.