16th March 2020
In line with recent Public Health warnings designed to curtail the spread of the COVID-19 virus, it is with deep regret that today the 2020 Rotary Tour of the Blackwood has been cancelled.
As Rotarians, and among our Committee members several healthcare professionals, it is our responsibility and primary duty to consider the health and wellbeing not just to the numerous participants, but also the volunteers and attendees who would be there on the day, as well as our beneficiaries and sponsors, and the broader community as a whole.
We know that our registrants have spent considerable time, effort and expense in preparation and leadup to this ride, which has made our deliberations that much more difficult. We expect all of our registrants will be just as devastated as we are, and the youth who would benefit from the ride, that we are not to be proceeding - especially with less than a week to go. We also know that our riders are an incredibly resilient, enthusiastic and determined group. However, we simply cannot predict at this point in time when a postponed ride would be possible, so have no feasible option but to cancel for this year and hope that next year’s ride will be bigger and better.
Our Club is also acutely aware of the on flow benefits that these events have to our local community, such as accommodation providers, sporting clubs, local retail outlets, and especially the local pub and restaurants who were poised to significantly benefit from The Tour. Ultimately, however, the risk of just one exposure to the virus was deemed untenable and the decision to cancel was therefore the most responsible position for us to take. We humbly ask our registrants and supporters to continue with current plans outside of the ride, using all advised precautions, and enjoy the local hospitality our region still has on offer.
Funds raised to date from the ride were destined to benefit Blackwood Youth Action, a local charity, to provide counselling and other mental health services to young people across the Warren Blackwood region. With only days until the event was to proceed, a significant financial investment has already been made toward the event that will not be refunded to us. We ask for your understanding as we come to terms with the impact that this will have, primarily to our beneficiary, Blackwood Youth Action, for the at-risk youth of the Blackwood region. We hope that your Registration can still help continue this important program. Should you wish otherwise and want to make enquiries regarding possible refunds, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations already made directly to the Tour, Blackwood Youth Action or team members are non-refundable, however remain 100% tax deductible.
It is difficult to express our genuine disappointment at having to advise of this cancellation in what can only be described as unprecedented circumstances beyond our control. Please accept our sincerest gratitude to you all for your support to date. We ask you all to stay safe, with our wishes to you all for continued good health, and hope for your support again next year.
The Rotary Club of Bridgetown
Blackwood Tour Organising Committee