GAA Handball Fixtures & Events Update – Covid-19
Please see below email received from John Kelly, National Manager, GAA Handball, in relation to the recent decision to postpone or cancel some upcoming handball events due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The events affected are outlined in the following link GAA Handball Covid-19 update 9th April.
Firstly, I hope you are all keeping well and in good health.
In light of the current situation we find ourselves in with the suspension of all GAA Handball activity, which looks likely to be extended on the advice of the HSE and government in the coming days, GAA Handball have had to review all GAA Handball activities which were ongoing since March and those planned to take place over the coming months.
The current layoff in action has had an impact not only on our fixtures calendar but also on our finances as the ongoing situation regarding Covid-19 has placed a financial strain on our key income streams that help us to deliver our programme of fixtures and events throughout the year. These include sponsorship, commercial revenue, gate receipts and entry fees. There is also a financial strain on a number of our key stakeholders and commercial partners which could potentially have a knock on negative impact on our future income and funding grants throughout the year.
We find ourselves in an unprecedented situation that is ever changing and while we cannot give any assurances on return to play dates or the future of any competitions we do need to ensure that we are in the best possible position both financially and structurally to ensure a smooth return to our games when that time comes and also to safeguard the future of our association.
With this in mind, GAA Handball Ard Comhairle, via email correspondence, have had to make a number of tough decisions surrounding our fixtures calendar and the immediate future of a number of our competitions. An update on the status of all competitions and events affected are outlined in the pdf attached.
In relation to the decisions made, there are a number of competitions/events cancelled for 2020, some currently postponed and some competitions that are under review pending a return to play and our potential financial situation at that time. Any competition/event that is currently under review will be subject to ongoing review as the situation evolves and once a clearer picture on when activities will resume is confirmed, a further decision will then be made as to whether that competition will go ahead. The decision to cancel Féile 2020 is in line with the decision of the National Féile committee to cancel Féile across all associations.
Any entries that have been received for cancelled events will be issued with a refund.
We acknowledge that this step will result in further inconvenience and disruption to members however we hope that you understand that these decisions were taken with the current circumstances and the impact on finances in mind while trying to minimise the potential impact on our members and our commercial partners.
The health and safety of our members is, as always, of paramount importance and these steps will assist us all in taking the necessary precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19 and to hopefully return to full activity as early as possible and I want to assure you that we are working hard to ensure that we are in the best possible position as an association to return to our games when that time comes. In this regard we appreciate the continued co-operation and support of everyone involved at this time.
As this continues to be a rapidly developing situation, we will continue to monitor the information received from the relevant authorities on a day-to-day basis and further updates will be issued in due course.
We advise all members to continue to monitor the Government and HSE websites for the latest information and guidance regarding COVID-19 and to follow their instructions regarding social distancing in particular over the coming weeks.
Finally, I would like to pay tribute to all your efforts so far in adhering to the guidelines and thank you for working together to help flatten the curve. As the Irish saying goes “Ní neart go cur le chéile” and I am proud that every member of our association is playing their part in helping the fight against Covid-19. I have no doubt we will succeed and in time we will return to the courts and enjoy many great sporting occasions once more.
In the meantime, please stay safe, look out for one another and I wish you all a Happy and healthy Easter.
Is mise le meas,