'Children have been trampled': Time to drop the Tui catch promo?

Author
NZ Herald,
Section
Sport,
Publish Date
Thursday, 4 January 2018, 7:24AM

Former Black Caps all-rounder James Neesham has joined the chorus of concern around the Tui Catch A Million campaign after several catch attempts saw men hurtling towards young fans and families during the third Twenty20 in Mt Maunganui last night.

Fans looked aggrieved at the aggressive manner of some participants in the Tui promotion during the Black Caps' win over West Indies where fans can win $50,000 for catching a six with one hand.

READ MORE: Munro creates history as Black Caps crush the Windies

One man hurled himself into the fray for his chance for the prize - but fell onto a woman sitting in front of him.

The fall upset her partner and, for a few seconds, it looked like an altercation was possible.

The near carnage happened in the New Zealand innings where 17 sixes where hit, 10 by opener Colin Munro who became the first player to score three centuries in Twenty20 internationals with his 104.

Neesham, who has played 41 ODIs and 15 Twenty20s for New Zealand, called out the promotion on Twitter and other viewers pointed out it was a matter of time before a young fan was injured.

DB Breweries and New Zealand Cricket agreed there were some safety concerns in relation to the competition, and there are plans to review the terms and conditions before the next fixture.

Simon Smith, spokesman for DB Breweries, which makes Tui, said safety was the "number one priority" in the competition.

He had been watching the game on TV and had seen several unsafe catching attempts.

Smith had called to ask the MC at the ground to make further announcements calling for people to take more care when attempting catches and be aware of the space around them.

"We're just trying to say to people catching to look out for people around you - especially families and kids."

The competition's terms and conditions include a clause saying the promoter will not be liable for any damage or injury incurred by any participant.

"[That could be] if it hits their hand, or they miss the catch and are hit on the head - people have been known to do that," he said.

"We are mindful that the prize on offer for a one-handed catch is undoubtedly adding to the enthusiasm for fans in the stands, however crowd safety is paramount and we would like to reiterate that fans should consider a safe approach when attempting to take a catch, especially when around other spectators.

"We have worked closely with New Zealand Cricket and the stadiums to ensure every effort has been taken for fans safety and have planned for contingencies, but It's never worth risking an injury to yourself or others for $50,000."

Smith said the match MC and the ground announcer made regular safety messages over the PA system to the crowd.

"Since seeing the crowd's enthusiasm tonight we have spoken to the MC and announcer and got them to increase the number of announcements and reiterate the safety messages, which they will keep doing over the course of the evening," he said.

"We have also spoken to Sky and they have also reiterated the safety message to viewers."

New Zealand Cricket said it shared concerns about crowd safety in relation to the Tui Catch a Million promotion.

"With this in mind, public service announcements were issued every 15 minutes at Bay Oval, advising those involved in the competition to respect other patrons.

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