LIST: Benalla sports shut down by coronavirus

By Meg Saultry

With the effects of coronavirus pandemic now widespread, Benalla and district sport has followed the rest of the nation and effectively shut down until further notice.

The Ensign has compiled a list of all events and competitions known to have been cancelled or postponed in light of this pandemic.


The North Eastern Archers announced earlier last week all upcoming come and try days were cancelled until further notice.


In compliance with Baseball Victoria, the Benalla Bandits Baseball xx has cancelled all club trainings. There has been no change to the upcoming season’s start date of April 19 for seniors and April 26 for juniors as of yet.


All Basketball Victoria competitions, including the Big V competition and the Victorian Junior Basketball League has been postponed until further notice.

Junior competitions including Aussie Hoops, upcoming skills days and the upcoming under-12 and under-14 Country Championships have all been postponed.


Benalla Bowls Club’s indoor bowls has been cancelled for the time being, while the committee has also cancelled all upcoming tournaments, including Symes Memorial Day, Autumn Carnival, Edinburgh Shield, 5-A-Side, Traders Day, Ladies 2 Bowls Triples, North East Arm Wrestle and BCIB Mixed pairs.

The greens are open to members who wish to use it while practising social distancing.


Benalla Bushrangers Cricket Club has cancelled its 2019/20 season club presentation dinner scheduled for Saturday night.

More details will be released by the club in the coming weeks in regard to award winners.


A decision has been made to postpone all community football and netball leagues, including those of the North East, until at least May 31.

Teams affected in Benalla and districts include; Benalla Saints (Goulburn Valley League), Benalla All Blacks and Goorambat (Ovens and King League), Violet Town (Kyabram District League), as well as Benalla Giants, Benalla Bulldogs, and the Benalla Auskick Centre (Benalla District Junior Football League).

In a statement released by AFL Goulburn Murray's Regional General Manager, Jamie Macri, last week, it stated, "following a series of meetings over the last number of days involving the AFL and all State and Territory CEO’s, recommendations have been made in relation to Community Football due to the ongoing health crisis caused by COVID – 19.

“The AFL is strongly recommending that independently governed junior and senior leagues and associations postpone the commencement and/or operation of their leagues/associations until the same date. This also relates to community matches, community training sessions and face to face education courses.

Under the separate guidance of Netball Victoria, Benalla Netball will also postpone its domestic competitions (held on Tuesday's and Wednesday's) until April 14.


The North East District Golf Association pennant has been suspended indefinitely due to the current situation. The Association said they were unsure at this stage if it will go ahead at any stage later in the year.

All competition golf through the Benalla Golf Club is suspended, though the course is open for social golf.


Guided by Hockey Victoria, Benalla Hockey Club’s winter season will be postponed until May 1, with the club also cancelling Thursday night trainings until further notice.

While the sport is largely non-contact, club president Lee Manning said its major concern with training related to social distancing, with a large number of spectators attending sessions including small children and grandparents.

Manning said players and supporters can receive updates on the club’s Facebook page. The club is also expected to run an online photo and video competition around members’ best home hockey training routines in the coming weeks.


HISTORIC WINTON: One of the region’s biggest motorsport events, Historic Winton cancelled its 2020 event due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

The much-loved exhibition was scheduled to be held on the weekend of May 29-31 but will now not return until May 28-30, 2021.

Alongside the main event, the Benalla Historic Vehicle Tour, set for May 29, has also been cancelled.

Historic Winton organiser and President of the Austin 7 Club, Len Kerwood, said it was with “heartfelt disappointment” that Historic Winton had to be cancelled due to COVID-19 coronavirus control.

Those who have purchased tickets for Historic Winton and camping online will receive a full refund including booking fees, while drivers will also be refunded their fees.

V8 SUPERCARS: While there has yet to be any official announcements regarding the 2020 Winton Supersprint, Supercars opening three rounds in Tasmania, Auckland and Perth have all been postponed until later in the year.

In the meantime, Supercars will host an eSeries Championship from now until late June, with its drivers battling it out in the virtual world. The series will be streamed through Twitch, Fox Sports and Kayo.


All parkrun events across Australia have been suspended indefinitely due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation.


As of Saturday, March 21, all 2020 Senior Citizens Club activities will be cancelled until further notice due to coronavirus concerns.


Thomas Street Ladies Racquetball has postponed their current competition as of last week until further notice.


Benalla Squash Club’s committee has announced it will postpone its current competition until further notice. The club will be guided by the Department of Health as to when they can safely re-commence competition squash.


The Club has suspended all training until at least the end of the school holidays. If parents of swimmers would like a program for their children to undertake on their own, please contact coach Gary Bowman directly.


Benalla Table Tennis Club members last week voted for the cancellation of the remaining nine matches of its summer competition.

In addressing club members, president Phil Keast highlighted the risk involved, with up to fifty players competing in the hall at one time.

Keast said that in view of the uncertainty of the coronavirus, and in the interest of the health and wellbeing of all members, it was necessary to cancel the remainder of matches.

Club executives will review the situation at the end of May, in the hope that the winter competition can proceed on Tuesday, June 2.


The Benalla Aquatic Centre will be closed for recreational swimming and all other services.

This list will continue to be updated as more information comes to light. If we have missed any sports in the district, please send through any information to [email protected] and it will be added to the list.