Dew diligence defies pain

FLIP PRIORBroome Advertiser

Condensation causing safety concerns for players at Broome’s inaugural Cable Beach Invitational basketball tournament on Friday night has not deterred plans to expand next year.

Event organiser Andrew Vlahov, of RV Sports, said Saturday’s games in the afternoon had been “fantastic” and players were keen to return to play in an expanded tournament.

He said RV Sports had signed a deal with EventsCorp to repeat it as an annual event over the next four years.

Future games would be played in the afternoons and the event would be held a week earlier or later to avoid clashing with the AFL grand final.

Players had been slipping and sliding in the first game and the second was cancelled because of the dew. Partway through the game, mops were employed.

Children armed with towels dashed on at each end of the court to wipe up the moisture whenever the action went to the other end.

Mr Vlahov paced the sidelines during the game between the Indonesian national team and the Shanghai Sharks. One player left the court clutching his shoulder and grimacing after falling over.

After the first game, Mr Vlahov cancelled the Perth Wildcats-Singapore Slingers game and rescheduled Saturday’s event from 6pm to 2pm.

However, only about half of the crowd turned up for the first game next day because it clashed with the AFL grand final and work.

Spectators were offered a 50 per cent refund for Friday and full refund for Saturday, and many inquired how to take up the offer.

One family who flew home to Melbourne on Saturday lodged a formal complaint after missing out on seeing the Wildcats play.

Mr Vlahov said he had been aware of the dew issue, but had believed it could be dealt with.

“Clearly it couldn’t and there was more around than we expected,” he said. “Once (it) became obvious it was unsafe, whilst it was a hard decision to make it was clearly the right one.”

Tourism Minister Kim Hames had used the event to promote a major new tourism campaign. Tourism WA refused to reveal how much it spent on the event.

The Shire of Broome, which supported the event with $15,000 in sponsorship and in-kind support, said it was the event organisers’ responsibility to get a detailed weather forecast before the event.

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