SNOW across the region brought smiles to many Central West residents but an unfortunate side effect of the weather was the postponed of Thursday's opening day of Astley Cup action.
Bathurst High School was set to play host to Orange High School for the opening tie of the 2021 cup - back after a two year break, due to COVID-19 - but both squads will have to wait just that extra bit longer to take the field.
Staff at Bathurst High made the call publicly at 8am on Thursday that the scheduled tennis, girls hockey, boys rugby league and athletics would have to find new dates outside of the upcoming Bathurst-Dubbo (June 17-18) and Orange-Dubbo ties (June 24-25).
At this stage it's expected that Friday's girls netball, boys basketball plus the girls and boys soccer will still go ahead as planned.
The blanket of snow which settled in Orange on Thursday forced the cancellation of bus lines for school children across the city and conditions along the Mitchell Highway remained dangerous for buses throughout the morning.
With that in mind Bathurst High School principal Ken Barwick said Thursday's decision was an easy one to make.
"Safety of students and safety of staff are at the highest priority. The students at Orange High couldn't even get to school today because their bus lines had closed," he said on Thursday morning.
"They were still making an effort to try and get the competitors to school but that became a logistical and safety issue because parents were trying to travel through snow to get kids to school in order to get to Astley Cup, so the decision was made to postpone.
"Friday should still go ahead as normal and there will be a negotiation on where we fit the leftover day in."
Where those four leftover events will be rescheduled to remains up in the air.
Barwick said the aim is to have all the sports completed before the Orange-Dubbo tie, which falls on the last two days of the term.
"This is unprecedented because it's never happened before. What we'll discuss is whether we can find a whole day, which is better, but we could go so far as to run all those events separated onto different days to make sure the cup happens and concludes in a timely manner," he said.
"Next week we're meant to be going to Dubbo and then after that Dubbo goes to Orange, and obviously next week is shortened already so we'll see where we can fit it in.
"We all know how busy school schedules are and we book dates nearly 12 to 18 months in advance because schools are so busy. Moving one day is logistically easier than moving two days.
"We also want to keep the cup [ties] close together and don't want it dragging out too long. The decision at this stage is that Friday still goes ahead."
Friday's schedule is netball (9.15am) and basketball (10.45am) at the CSU gymnasium and the girls (12.15pm) and boys (1.30pm) soccer to follow at Proctor Park.
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