At the risk of flogging an infected horse with three related posts, it’s worth noting that the Corona virus is going to cause significant disruption to the competitive landscape in the bodyboarding world.
Our stand up brethren at the World Surf League has cancelled their opening three events in Australia because of the pandemic.
The consensus across Australian bodyboarding clubs seems to be to postpone upcoming events until the situation becomes clearer.
An email from Surfing New South Wales to members yesterday stated ” While organisations are free to make their own decisions within the Government mandated guidelines, we recommend that you give serious consideration to postponing or cancelling events in March and April. If you do proceed with your club rounds, we strongly encourage that strict hygiene protocols protocols are followed as outlined below by your State Government”
Surfing Victoria was more direct and ” has decided to suspend all sanctioned events, coaching and programs indefiantely with immediate effect.
This is disappointing news, considering the significant effort by many clubs to recruit new members and promote bodyboarding over the summer period. Most clubs reported increased membership numbers for this year’s season.
The disruption may however provide a silver lining.
At the recent Boxfest competition in Port Stephens, representatives from a cross section of various clubs gathered to discuss the need for greater cooperation and uniformity across grassroots organisations.
This window of down time may provide clubs with the opportunity to utalise this period to devote energy towards this endeavour and strengthen the position of grassroots clubs for the future.
Whatever the outcome, these are certainly uncharted waters, with implications that are going to resonate long into the future.
More as the story develops.