Lifesaving South Africa cancels National Champs over Covid-19 pandemic

The global Covid-19 pandemic has been declared a State of Disaster in South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Sunday 15 March after an emergency cabinet meeting was held to implement social distancing measures to stop the spread of the virus in South Africa. Some of the restrictions and prohibitions include restrictions on non-essential domestic and international travel, closing schools, and prohibiting events that involve the gathering of more than 100 people.

In light of the announcement, Lifesaving South Africa acknowledges the State President’s declaration of a State of Disaster and has cancelled the Wimpy South African Lifesaving National Champs scheduled for 19-25 March 2020 in Port Elizabeth with immediate effect.

Following an emergency meeting held by the Lifesaving SA board members on Friday 13 March, Lifesaving South Africa was guided by authorities to consider postponement or cancellation of the event. “We have been monitoring the development of the coronavirus pandemic and having consulted with the Department of Health, provincial and national authorities, and with the full support of all the events sponsors and partners, the difficult decision was made to cancel the event. The health and safety of the athletes, volunteers, staff, sponsors and the South African public are our priority,” explained Lifesaving South Africa’s President Dhaya Sewduth.

“The safety of the South African public is of paramount importance to us at all times. Wimpy as the headline sponsor of the Lifesaving South African National Championships is in support of the cancellation of this week’s upcoming National Championships scheduled to take place in Port Elizabeth,” said Jacques Cronje, Marketing Executive, Famous Brands.

“We acknowledge the hard work and commitment that all the athletes, officials, clubs, sponsors, the Local Organizing Committee and event management have undertaken in preparation for the event. However, we emphasize that we are an organisation whose focus is on savings lives and we have a responsibility and commitment to the country to protect and save lives through any means possible” said Craig van Rooyen, Director of Sport for Lifesaving South Africa.

Lifesaving South Africa will in due course announce further details on the status of the Wimpy South African Lifesaving National Champs 2020.