Local sporting events canceled, postponed due to outbreak

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BENNINGTON — Following the lead of professional and college sports leagues, local events or events with local competitors have all been canceled or postponed as concerns of the coronavirus and COVID-19 continue to radiate through the United States and the rest of the world.

— The Vermont Basketball Coaches Association has canceled its day of senior all-star games, which was scheduled for March 21 at Windsor High School.

In a statement, VBCA executive director Dave Fredrickson said, "we are saddened to do this, but feel safety is a priority."

Award winners and senior all-star teams members will be named in the coming days.

— The Bennington Marauders were scheduled to attend the Golds Championship for swimming at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute this weekend, but it has also been canceled.

On the team's website, coach Nicole Goswami wrote, "It is with great sadness that I write this note... This is incredibly disappointing for the six athletes that qualified and were planning to attend. These athletes dedicated an entire season to reach their goals and worked hard to secure their spot. I am so proud of each of them and I want them to all know that we think they are rockstars."

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— The National High School Coaches Association national wrestling tournament, scheduled to take place at the Virginia Beach Convention Center from March 26-29, have been postponed. The governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam, has canceled all large events in the state for a minimum of 30 days.

According to the NHSCA, they are working with the city of Virginia Beach to figure out a rescheduled set of dates that should be released today.

About 20 high school and middle school wrestlers from Mount Anthony and Catamount wrestling were expected to attend and compete for All-American spots.

— Special Olympics Vermont canceled its upcoming Winter Games, scheduled for March 22-24 at Killington's Pico Resort, and also the Unified Champion School Snowshoe Tournament, scheduled for March 25.

The Southern Vermont Penguin Plunge at Bromley Mountain will be restructured to allow both a physical and virtual event. More information regarding this will be shared at a later date.

Special Olympics International's recommendation was based on information from the Centers for Disease Control, and the understanding that many Special Olympics athletes, as well as some coaches and volunteers are a higher risk population due to underlying health conditions that contribute to suppressed immune systems. SOVT also consulted with the Vermont Department of Health and various health professionals, and determined that the close quarters of interior spaces and lodging at these events would make it difficult to enforce social distancing as recommended by the CDC.

"The health and safety of our athletes, and of the entire Special Olympics Vermont community is paramount and cannot be compromised," said SOVT President and CEO Missy Siner Shea in a press release. "It is very unfortunate that, in an abundance of caution, we must cancel events that we greatly look forward to each year."


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