STATEMENT BY WGUK CHAIRMAN, MARK NICHOLSON, REGARDING BRITISH WINTER GUARD CHAMPIONSHIPS 2020
With impending restrictions on events and gatherings with more than 500 people and due to the uncertainty of the escalation of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) combined with the cancellation of many sporting, cultural and like-minded activities throughout the United Kingdom, the WGUK Board held detailed discussions throughout yesterday and have come to the decision to CANCEL the forthcoming 41st British Winter Guard Championships on Saturday 28th March 2020, at The University of Worcester Arena (UWA).
As you are aware via our recent website updates, since the outbreak of the virus WGUK have been monitoring the situation initially daily but over the past 72 hours on an hourly basis, taking advice and guidance from Government, NHS & Public Health England as well as being in regular communication with senior staff at the UWA.
The decision made by the WGUK Board was difficult and heart breaking, never within our 41 years of history has our activity been faced with more challenging and potentially life threatening circumstances but our priority has to be the continued health and well being of performers, staff and spectators.
Following discussions with the show sponsor and guard directors, the final show of the season is taking place today at Leeds Beckett University Arena, with a reduced entry of just nine (9) units in competition as a result of several member organisations withdrawing from the remainder of the season due to the potential implications of the virus.
At this moment in time we cannot foresee all the consequences but we have decided that for the first time in our history not to crown nor announce Class Champions for the 2020 season. Over the coming days we shall provide more detailed information following our decision and start the process of refunding ticket purchases. We appreciate that this is very disappointing and not the way that we all wished to end and celebrate the 2020 season but as highlighted our priority is the continued health and well being of our performers, staff and spectators.
Sincere regards Mark
Chairman for and on behalf of the WGUK Board.