Sevenoaks Suns have opted out of the 2021 WBBL Cup final “for the safety of ourselves, our loved ones and our Sevenoaks community.”

It means the reigning Women’s British Basketball League champions will be replaced in January 24’s final by Nottingham Wildcats who will now meet Leicester Riders for the first trophy of the campaign at the University of Worcester Arena.

The Suns, along with Manchester Mystics, have also decided to postpone all their Championship games until at least 13 February amid growing concerns which have been mirrored by players at other teams surrounding the risks from travelling and a lack of Covid testing in what is a semi-pro league.

And although Suns management admitted it is a bitter pill to swallow to miss out on a televised showpiece, the pandemic effects have hit the club “especially hard”, they underlined.

“We have multiple players whose important work puts them in regular contact with the public,” said a Sevenoaks club statement.

“For example, we have a player who works in the NHS. Another player is a physiotherapist working with COVID patients. A third player is a teacher. Many of our players live with families, some members of which are elderly or otherwise vulnerable. These circumstances make any form of bubble impossible.

“We love playing basketball and we love playing in the WBBL. To decide to not play has been a painful decision for us to take but we are united and believe that suspending our participation is the right thing for us to do for the health and safety of our players, coaches and families.

“We will meet weekly as a team and continue to monitor the situation. Hopefully, the urgency of the situation will lessen, facilities will reopen and we will find a way to get started again.

“Our hope is that everyone will understand our situation and know that we are committed to the WBBL and all the promise it holds for women’s basketball in the UK.”





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