KT

Blitz is abandoned to ensure public safety

The club felt that cancelling the blitz was the responsible decision to make as the safety of participants and spectators could not be guaranteed

THE hugely popular five-day Castleisland Christmas basketball blitz, which attracts players and supporters from throughout the county and beyond, has been cancelled for the second year in a row due to Covid-19 concerns.

The organising committee of the St Mary’s Basketball Club event said the decision was tough and difficult but inevitable as this year was no different to last in terms of restrictions.

Several options were considered, including the of reducing the days, hours and competitions, but the recent surge in Covid-19 case numbers was the deciding factor.

“Once again, it was felt that this is the responsible decision to make as the safety of participants and spectators could not be guaranteed,” the club said in a statement.

It was felt that if there was any risk to the safety of patrons, of which there were well over 13,000 over the five days in 2019, that the club should not take this risk.

“The club and committee members are devastated to have had to make this decision but are 100 per cent committed to making sure that the blitz will be back,” the statement added.

Club chairman Eamon Egan said that the decision was a heartbreaking one to make and it was not reached easily.

“We realise that it will be a huge loss to families locally and to everyone in the broader basketball community but we feel that we have no option and that once again, it is the responsible decision to make,” he said.