Coronavirus outbreak continues to impact Dubbo sport

WAITING GAME: Dave Dryden in action in last season's grand final, an event which easily attracted more than 500 people. Photo: AMY McINTYRE
WAITING GAME: Dave Dryden in action in last season's grand final, an event which easily attracted more than 500 people. Photo: AMY McINTYRE

Race meetings won't be open to the public, numerous local events have been cancelled, and doubt remains around the upcoming Group 11 season.

The situation around sporting events at a national and community level continues to change almost hourly as governing bodies attempt to deal with ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

Numerous events around the western region have already been cancelled while the Group 11 and Western Rams committees are expected to hear from New South Wales Rugby League (NSWRL) on Tuesday in relation to any modifications or cancellations.

While no decision had been made on Monday, Group 11 secretary Paul Loxley did compare the situation to a science-fiction movie.

"We're really going to be on a Star Trek mission. Boldly going where we've never been before," he said.

While stating he was remaining optimistic, Loxley admitted he did have doubts about the upcoming season.


A ban has been put on any non-essential public gathering which attracts more than 500 people and while that may not be a regular occurrence in Group 11, a number of matches a season would pass that number.

"Worst case scenario is there's no season," he said.

"Without crowds we can't run. We wouldn't survive."

Playing behind closed doors isn't an option, according to Loxley, given clubs require on the gate-takings income which comes from every home game.

More word is expected from NSWRL on Tuesday while Racing NSW was another sporting body which released a statement on Monday.

All race meetings, barrier trials and trackwork will not be open to the public until further notice.

The Trangie Gold Cup meeting scheduled for Saturday has already been cancelled while the Wellington club and community is set to take a financial hit due to the lack of crowd at the bumper Wellington Boot carnival on April 4 and 5, and numerous other race meetings will now be in doubt.

A certain group of essential people - ranging from trainers through to club doctors - will be allowed at the tracks while no on-course wagering facilities will be available.

Those essential personnel who are allowed in will be required to leave the racecourse after their horses have run.

Bathurst Harness Racing Club's annual Gold Crown carnival will also be contested behind closed doors.

Locally, Dubbo Basketball Association has made the decision to cancel this week's Rams rookies sessions, Friday night junior competition, and Western Junior League representative training.

Dubbo Sportsworld has also brought in a raft of health measures, including no shaking hands after games, while Dubbo College's cricket match against Gulgong has been cancelled in line with the guidelines set down by the NSW Department of Education.