League calls for volunteers

Tathra Sea Eagles volunteer David Porter films celebrations after last year's grand final with Group 16 calling for more volunteers.
Tathra Sea Eagles volunteer David Porter films celebrations after last year's grand final with Group 16 calling for more volunteers.

Group 16 senior and minor rugby league are calling on volunteers.

Chairman of the senior board Allan Wilton is urging for anyone who can help to reach out to shore up both competitions moving forward.

"There has never been a more important time to help get Community Rugby League back up and running again with both the Group 16 Senior Rugby League and the Group 16 Minor Rugby League Competitions asking everyone to help by volunteering and uniting to assist at their local clubs," Mr Wilton said.

"Now is the time for our volunteers to help and support our local communities and local rugby league clubs and sport across the region."

Mr Wilton said there was ongoing support from enormously valued volunteers in the area, many of whom have given years of service to their respective clubs. He said many had given 30 or 40 years of commitment and had been acknowledged with life memberships.

"And we need more volunteers to keep the sport going locally," he said. "The more volunteers we can recruit the stronger our sport will be in future years."

"In a majority of cases our volunteers are aligned to their family's involvement in the game and in many cases these volunteers leave the game as their family members grow older and leave the game."

Mr Wilton said a number of the volunteers, particularly in the senior competition were 'older in age' and their vulnerability to the COVID-19 pandemic played a large role in the concerns of moving forward with a season.

Mr Wilton said the safety and health of volunteers was of utmost importance and Group 16 was working with NSWRL to provide COVID-19 training for volunteers.

"To further support our volunteers and players each individual Club in Group 16 are required to submit safety plans for grounds before training commences and these plans are required to meet NSWRL and NSW Department of Health standards before approved."

He said those plans will ensure that as competition goes ahead there will be the safest environment for players, volunteers and spectators.

"A value on the volunteers' contribution to our sport at grassroots level just cannot be measured," Mr Wilton said. "They are the people that make the game go ahead and without their priceless commitment and contribution we just don't have a game locally."

Sporting opportunities would be fewer without volunteer efforts, Mr Wilton said. "People wanting to volunteer don't have to have a background and knowledge of the game of rugby league -In many cases it is the routine weekly tasks of setting up, packing up, assisting in the canteens or helping on the barbecue that require help," he said.

With minor league to resume on July 18, Mr Wilton said a boost to volunteer numbers was critical and urged everyone to help where they can.

This story League calls for volunteers first appeared on Merimbula News Weekly.