The torrential downpours have claimed their first major sporting scalp, with organisers cancelling this weekend’s A-Plus Contracting Hunter Valley Mining Charity Rugby League Day at Singleton.
Event coordinator Danny Eather said the recent rain and current extreme weather across the region had forced their hand to make the difficult decision.
The day, in support of the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service, had been planned for 18 months following last year’s tournament being postponed due to COVID-19.
More than 300 participants were scheduled to take the field.
“The verdict was made in consultation with Singleton United Rugby League Club based on the considerable amount of rain since last Sunday making Pirtek Park’s playing surface unfit for play,” Mr Eather said.
“We worked on contingency planning earlier this week to utilise the second field.
“However, with the lack of warm weather to dry out the ground it was also deemed unsafe.
“In the end, we were left with no option in the interests of player safety.”
The Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service community liaison officer thanked everyone for their support and understanding.
“Understandably there is considerable disappointment among organisers, participating clubs and volunteers who have all remained optimistic in spending the past three days setting up for the weekend,” Mr Eather said.
“But, with the previous rain and forecast of worsening conditions, the decision has been made early to cancel this Saturday’s event out of respect for those participants that were travelling to Singleton and ultimately for the safety of all involved.’
“I’d like to extend our gratitude to all of our teams, volunteers, suppliers and, importantly, our sponsors who had committed to this weekend.”
Individuals who had purchased tickets will be notified of their options in transferring their tickets to the 2021 event in October later this year.
All team managers will also receive a notification of a video meeting in the coming 24 hours.