One of the biggest fundraising events on the Upper Hunter's calendar has had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The A-Plus Contracting Hunter Valley Mining Charity Rugby League Day has fallen victim to the pandemic - it's an event that raises close to $100,000 for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service.
Event Coordinator Danny Eather said they tried to remain optimistic, but unfortunately this time it can't happen.
"Unfortunately today we can confirm that based on our risk assessment and consideration provided for the current Government restrictions, it is with much regret that we announce the postponement of the 2020 A-Plus Contracting Hunter Valley Mining Charity Rugby League Day until March 2021,"
They've consulted with all of the teams, and with health and safety being the number one priority they've had to think of another possible option to be able to run the event.
"It's always been our ambition to have an event that we could always have back in March when we were planning it thinking by the end of the year we'd be good to go but obviously we all know whats happening and things are a bit slower to recover as we've seen"
"The biggest change we anticipate is that spectators will not be able to attend the event due to the 500 person capacity of the venue based on current restrictions."
"Our biggest hurdle at the moment is the fact that we do have restrictions around the government health orders and restrictions we definitely have to abide by to ensure the safety of everyone, but we're looking at the option of running the day, we wouldn't be able to have spectators, but we are in the process of working out the logistics to actually live stream the entire day online,"
"And look at some options where we could set up in partnership with our sponsors some live sites and locations across all of the Upper Hunter so everyone can come together and cheer on their colleagues and friends and family and at the same time they might be able to throw a few dollars in a bucket or make a donation or something like that," said Danny.
"Even with this change in format we are estimating that we should be in a position to raise approximately $80,000-$90,000 which will have considerable positive boost for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter given the vast majority of face to face fundraising this year has been cancelled or suspended due to Covid-19."
"We again express our gratitude and sincere thanks to all of our team sponsors and in particular our event partners, A-Plus Contracting, Jennings Print, Pirtek-Singleton & Muswellbrook, Tyre Doctor, Mine Super, Slater & Gordon, Mader New South Wales, NSW Mining, Hunter Valley Operations, Yancoal, All-Pro, Aletek, At The Coalface, Bowers Heavy Haulage, Coal Services Mines Rescue, Oiltest, Walton Mining Service and the Singleton Untied Rugby League Club"
Additional announcements will be made closer to the event via our website – www.charityrugbyleagueday.com.au.