THIS year's edition of the Astley Cup may be in jeopardy following Monday's release on new COVID-safe guidelines from the NSW Department of Education.
The new guidelines, which come into effect this Wednesday, states that 'schools must not travel outside their local community or zone, including between rural and regional areas'.
Representatives from Bathurst High School, Orange High School and Dubbo Senior College will convene for a crisis meeting on Tuesday morning to discuss the specific details in the government's statement and what it means for the 2020 cup.
It comes at an unfortunate time for the three colleges who have just finalised their team selections and have upped their training for the inter-school sporting event, due to start on Thursday next week.
Bathurst High School principal Ken Barwick did not want to make any assumptions before Tuesday's meeting but said the signs aren't encouraging for several school events, not just the Astley Cup.
"We've got preparations for Astley Cup, final presentation assemblies and graduation and looking at what was handed down this morning it's not looking promising for those range of things," he said.
"We've got a crisis meeting [Tuesday] at 8am to look at what is happening, or what sort of combined communications we need to be putting out into the community as a collective regarding the Astley Cup."
The department's statement also said that 'interschool sport and zone carnivals are restricted to 100 people per venue and must be held in the local area'.
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The schools had already made preparations for no spectators at the venues, getting together a livestream platform to allow students to still throw their support behind their teams.
But zero travel brings that idea to a standstill.
"It states that moving teams between Orange, Dubbo and Bathurst is something we can't do. Something we'll discuss is whether we can put things on hold for later in the year," Barwick said.
"Our role, first and foremost, should be the safety of all our kids and our community. We can't lose sight of the fact that the people who make these decisions do so for a good reason."
Barwick said year 12 students shouldn't lose hope that 2020 will be a year of lost opportunities.
He and the Bathurst High staff will be doing everything they can to give kids chances to participate in events within the guidelines they're given.
"We'll be looking at ways locally we can give kids highlights for the remainder of the year and into next year if restrictions continue to tighten," he said.
"We want to make 2020 a year to remember, and I put that way on purpose because I want to inspire year 12 in the understanding that 2020 will be the most unique year ever, not the worst year ever.
"We want them to remember it that way because they got to do things that other year groups never got to do."
Outside of the cup, the guidelines state that 'all group singing and or other chanting activities, as well as the use of wind instruments in group settings are not permitted' and that 'school formals, dances, graduation or other social events are not permitted'.