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Easter festivals lost to the coronavirus

Sport | Published:

THREE popular ‘Easter Festivals’ have joined the multitude of cancellations sparked by the developing Covid-19 pandemic.

The popular Senior Silver and Masters Bronze tournaments hosted by the Guernsey Badminton Association every Easter have been cancelled for 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. (27529538)

In a dire situation where the leading local bodies of athletics, badminton and cycling have suspended all organised activity until at least the end of April, their respective festivals have been cancelled a month in advance.

The EY Easter Running Festival is the biggest loss of the trio in terms of participation and sports tourism value.

Recent years have seen at least 185 and as many as 238 runners finishing the opening 5k race alone but, following UK Athletics’ move to suspend all activity until 30 April, Guernsey Athletics Club confirmed the event’s cancellation on Tuesday.

‘As always, the health and safety of all the participants – runners, officials, marshals and other support services – are at the forefront of our minds when organising such an event,’ said GAC endurance director Louise Perrio.

‘We are all by now aware of the rapidly changing Covid-19 situation and in light of the measures being put in place to respond to it and concern for all involved, the Guernsey Athletics Club has made the decision to cancel the 2020 edition of the Easter Running Festival.’

The Guernsey Badminton Association had called off its Senior Silver and Masters Bronze tournaments even before the local activity suspension was brought into place yesterday.

Last year’s event attracted around 35 visitors, who offered quality opposition for the top locals and took the lion’s share of prizes.

The GBA had acted upon England Badminton’s instruction to cancel all national circuit tournaments combined with States of Guernsey’s renewed advice, effective from today, that anyone entering the island must self-isolate for 14 days.

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‘As an association we are very sorry that we are unable to host this extremely popular event this year and very much hope that next year, when we will be back bigger and better, you will support us again,’ the GBA said in a public announcement.

The Easter Cycling Festival garners little visiting interest but it has nevertheless proved a centrepiece of the domestic road calendar in recent years.

Guernsey Velo Club yesterday suspended all activity until 30 April, following British Cycling’s advice, with the inventive exception of some virtual racing organised via Zwift.

Jamie Ingrouille

By Jamie Ingrouille
Sports reporter

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