Dear Squash Players, Parents and Administrators
With almost a month into 2021, may I wish you and your families all the best for the year, and may blessings of good health and safety be showered on you all during 2021.
We have had a number of queries pertaining to the 2021 Bloem Junior Open, regarding, registration, dates, etc. and so herewith an update in this regard.
As things stand at the moment, with public schools only opening on 15 February, and the state of disaster that was extended to 15 February by the government, there is a great deal of uncertainty. However, we are quietly hopeful that we will be able to host the event and that things will improve.
However, allow me to clarify a couple of issues:
- The current dates for the BFN Junior Open are in fact 19 – 22 March 2021. Yes, there is an extra day included. There are a number of reasons for this:
* 19 – 22 March is also a long weekend and this may help with limiting the time children miss school.
* As the event is normally huge, for our top players, this may mean ensuring a slightly less congested schedule. The smaller sections may well start later (e.g. 20 March) or even end earlier. (This is not uncommon and happens in many events overseas.) This will be dependent on the number entries in the event per age group.
* In view of COVID-19, and safety protocols, etc. the possibility of decreased numbers at courts, and congestion at venues, will make for improved safety during the tournament.
* Currently we are uncertain as to the availability of the University courts, and possibly also some school courts – this may put pressure on the other venues in terms of time.
- The website is currently not open for entries, and the closing date of 12 February as per the SA Schools Calendar will certainly be extended, once the website opens. (We do not want to open the website for entries currently, owing to the uncertainty, and people paying money and then needing to issue refunds or make alternative arrangements.)
- As soon as there is more clarity going forward, we will make further announcements regarding the extended closing dates for entries, and we will then open the website for entries. We will inform you as soon as this happens.
- In the meantime if your reserve accommodation, please do not make payments in advance and please do check with the establishment regarding refunds, should the event need to be postponed.
- My advice to you in the meantime is: Get the players training in a safe environment so that when the time comes to compete, they are fit and ready to take to the courts.
In conclusion, on a positive note, I read an encouraging article in the news this morning indicating that the current situation in the country in terms of reduced active cases, recovery rates, etc. was improving. So, let’s hope that things will soon look up and that we can gain some clarity and move forward.
God Bless and stay safe.