Youth world cup trip cancelled

Holly ThompsonSound Telegraph
The girls did some beach training prior to the cancellation of their trip
Camera IconThe girls did some beach training prior to the cancellation of their trip Credit: Supplied

Baldivis twins Tiahna and Madelyn Atkins and the rest of their soccer team have been left devastated, after a decision was made to cancel their trip to Sweden, to play in an international competition.

The girls play in the under-16 team for the Northern Redbacks Women’s Soccer Club and were selected to play in the Gothia Youth World Cup, held in Gothenburg Sweden.

About two weeks ago the decision was made to cancel the trip due to the risk of travelling during the COVID-19 crisis.

Tiahna and Madelyn’s father Shane Atkins, who is also head coach of their team, said as far as he knew the competition was still going ahead but at least 50 teams had pulled out.

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“They haven’t actually cancelled the cup yet and as far as I know, about 1500 teams are still competing but this could change very fast,” he said.

“Our flights we booked were going through countries that were put on the original list of no insurance because of COVID-19, so we booked an alternative route.

“Then about a week later things got more serious and every instruction we had was that no one was going to cover us for the virus anywhere.”

He said the team committee had made the difficult decision to cancel the trip, to ensure the safety of the players, their families and the wider community.

“I think the last few weeks leading up to this decision, the girls could see the virus was turning into a bigger problem,” Mr Atkins said.

“Initially they thought this was all going to blow over and wasn’t going to be a massive concern.

“The excitement was high and the team was really good, so the disappointment was huge.”

In order to soften the blow, Mr Atkins said they had announced the girls could hopefully compete in another tournament later in the year.

“It is called the Gorilla Games and will be held in the school holidays in September in Queensland,” he said.

“It is quite a big tournament as well, teams from other countries come across and play, hopefully this helped soften the blow to the kids. We are at east able to say there may be an opportunity later in the year, depending on the situation, which will help them keep training.”

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