The Hawke's Bay Sport Awards function has been postponed due to the global coronavirus outbreak.
Sport Hawke's Bay chief executive Mark Aspden said although it's disappointing to postpone the Forsyth Barr gala awards celebration which was set for Saturday, May 23, it was sensible to make the call early, prior to tickets going on sale.
Aspden said the nomination and judging process will continue as planned but a new date for the awards dinner will remain unconfirmed.
"It was a tough call to make but we believe that by making an early decision we could minimise the impact for many of the suppliers and other people involved in putting the event together. On Monday the government imposed a ban on events with over 500 people attending which is also a significant factor in our decision to postpone the event."
Aspden said they had advised all key stakeholders including sponsors, suppliers and local councils.
Nominations are still open, with the nomination period closing on Tuesday, March 31.
Finalists will be announced on Wednesday, April 22.
"The virus' impact is still unfolding, therefore we believe the most sensible option is not to set another date for the event at this stage. We hope that it's sooner rather than later and that we can once again provide an entertaining celebration of sport in Hawke's Bay," Aspden added.
Sport Hawke's Bay's commercial manager Ryan Hambleton confirmed the province's intermediate schools swimming sports, which were scheduled for Flaxmere last night, were cancelled.
Other cancelled events include the annual Tremains Triathlon which was scheduled for March 29 in Napier, Thursday's Mitre 10 Tough Kids in Hastings and The Big Easy Cycle Hawke's Bay which was scheduled for Easter.
Meanwhile Hastings Boys' High School principal Rob Sturch said it was most unlikely the Sanix World Youth Rugby Tournament his 2019 national title-winning first XV has qualified for in Japan would take place. The team was scheduled to leave Hastings on April 26 and return on May 6.
"We expect to receive official confirmation in the next couple of days but with the number of borders closing down it doesn't look good."
Sturch said the Christchurch Girls' High School team and an Australian side have already withdrawn from the tournament.
As the chairman of the Hawke's Bay Secondary Schools Sports committee Sturch said he supported the call to cancel all events during national tournament week, March 30 to April 5. This includes rowing's Maadi Cup regatta which was to be staged in Twizel, the Hastings-hosted national division two softball tournament and the water polo and volleyball championships which were scheduled for Auckland and Palmerston North respectively.
Tournament week events have been cancelled as School Sport New Zealand has suspended all events on its national calendar as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
The decision will be reviewed on April 6. Events where alternative dates aren't possible will be cancelled.
"It is the right call because of the size of the events and the number of people who would have been travelling around the country from Kaitaia to Invercargill," Sturch added.