Meteors celebrate after a 4-1 win against Sparks in the 2019 Gladstone Hockey Association A1 Men's grand final. The club aims to go back-to-back … if there are games this season.
Meteors celebrate after a 4-1 win against Sparks in the 2019 Gladstone Hockey Association A1 Men's grand final. The club aims to go back-to-back … if there are games this season.

OPINION: It’s trying times for sports volunteers

OPINION: The Toowoomba Rugby League seniors’ competition has gone into hibernation for 2020 but the kids will play there.

It’s probably a sensible decision given that the region’s community rugby league clubs would struggle financially under what is currently the stage three rule of 100 people maximum per venue.

I fear the worst for Gladstone sport, not just rugby league but all winter codes.

Obviously these rules were made by some white-collared government official with no sense of how country sporting clubs operate.

Ty Fitzgerald from tannum Rugby League Club is crunched in a tackle against Gladstone Valley's. PICTURE: Matt Taylor
Ty Fitzgerald from tannum Rugby League Club is crunched in a tackle against Gladstone Valley's. PICTURE: Matt Taylor

Community sports clubs generate revenue from spectators attending games.

You’d struggle to get within 100 during an Aussie rules game.

In AFL Capricornia, there are under-13, U15, U17, reserves, women and A-grade.

How would you police the number to be 100 or under?

There are 18 players each team.

That’s 36.

Four on the bench at 1.5m apart (oh wait, but you can tackle, bump, smother and all that during a game).

That’s 44.

Coaches, perhaps another four.

Medicos and trainers, add another four.

There are timekeepers, scoreboard attendants and volunteers working in the canteen.

That’ll be pushing 60, and that’s before we get to the runners and water boys and girls – about six there, so it’s 66 now.

That leaves about 30-odd “spectators, groupies, fans”.

That’s a hell of a lot of pies, beer and pasties the punters would have to buy from the canteen to make ends meet.

Same goes with all the other sports, and I particularly feel for all the volunteers in the Rugby League Gladstone organisation.

Although there are less players on the field and less teams – five in the senior RLG competition – it’s the juniors from U6 to U17 that have big player numbers.

In a normal coronavirus-free Friday night, the Briffney Creek Fields carparks are full (remember, that’s from where Mr and, oops, or Mrs Johnny Junior will watch from).

That area is choccas again on Saturday mornings pre-coronavirus era.

There’s speculation after speculation and the ludicrous ruling of watching Johnny Junior 200m away in a car with an empty grandstand in the way.

The poor volunteers would be uncomfortable in dealing with irate parents because just one is allowed to watch their kid, from a distance.

Community competitions will supposedly start from July 10 under strict COVID-19 protocol. And yet they flock in droves at the Stocklands shopping complex.

Remember boys and girls, no high-fives, handshakes or huddles.

Oh, but you can tackle, bump, smother, block etc during a match.

All this while Mr or Mrs Johnny Junior watch via binoculars in the carpark at Briffney Fields.

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