One of Gloucester District Tennis Association's biggest drawcards has been axed due to COVID-19.
According to tournament secretary Ruth Johnson, the club was forced to cancel this year's Gloucester Open Bronze AMT and JT tour after Tennis NSW announced that all sanctioned events are to be postponed until further notice.
"It's really disappointing because we know what it brings to the club and to the town," Ruth said.
The club had been teetering on the decision about whether or not to proceed with the October long weekend four-day event in light of the COVID-safe measures they'd need to put in place.
"We'd been trying to figure out how we would run the event with all the restrictions," Ruth explained. "We weren't sure how we were going to manage it with our current set up and we were concerned about the impact on the volunteers."
But the decision was taken out of their hands when Tennis NSW made the call to put a stop to any ranking event due to the border closures restricting players to attend.
Tennis is one of the few sports that was relatively unaffected by government restrictions due to its naturally socially distanced style, however postponing events that earn points toward a players ranking seems only fair if not everyone can attend.
"We understand why it's been cancelled. The health and safety of our players and volunteers is paramount," Ruth said.
After the call was made, the club had a brief discussion about the possibility of holding just a Gloucester Open to allow for a bit of social play. But it was determined that adhering to the social distancing rules and the ability to restrict the number of spectator would be difficult. If the tennis club had a completely fenced in grounds, it may have been a different story.
Although it's sad news for the club, having to say goodbye to one of its biggest money generators of the year, they hope that all the people who have booked to stay in town will still come.
The Gloucester Bronze Open AMT (Australian Money Tournament) and JT (Junior Tour) has been running on the October for close to 50 years and it one of two major events of the tennis club.