Big wait for Gympie cricketers to see COVID-19 impact
CRICKET: COVID-19 has put Gympie winter sports on hold but the impact the pandemic has had on Gympie Regional Cricket Association’s six A-grade teams will not be known until closer to the start of the season.
Harlequins, Colts, Wests, Valleys, Kenilworth and Murgon cricket clubs rely on sponsorships and with the closure to businesses and clubs and pubs, some clubs may not be able to financially survive.
Valleys’ biggest fundraiser is running the Blues Bar at the Gympie Music Muster and if it does not go ahead this year, the club could lose about $5000.
“The association has to look at how it can best support the clubs through consideration of fees and the committee can speak to the clubs about how this could impact them going forward,” Gympie Regional Cricket Association president Rod Venn said.
“I am sure that the presidents of the clubs will be working to see how they can navigate through these hard times.
“Small clubs in small associations certainly rely on the valuable support of sponsors just to get through the season. It does not make us lots of money - it just covers our costs through umpires, association fees and balls.
“Presidents will be looking hard at how they financially move forward in next season.”
Despite the toll coronavirus could have on the clubs, Venn said there were a number of highlights from the 2019/2020 season.
“Usually you would say the cricketing stuff on the field but for me the highlights have been the community spirit of our cricket community,” he said.
“We had some of our cricketers organise charity events - notably the fire fundraiser that was organised primarily by Kenilworth’s Steve Ledger and Kelvin Cochrane where the event and game raised close to $12,000.
“The other is the Pink Stumps match, and the official opening of the new facility we have here is definitely a highlight for many years in the making.”
Venn said veterans’ games and winter cricket matches were on hold until further notice.