Gympie Cats look to the future despite drop in numbers

AUSSIE RULES:The Gympie Cats Australian Football Club juniors will return to the field for the first time since the COVID-19 shutdown but the player numbers have taken a hit.

Junior vice-president Matt Killian said the club needs to have the juniors playing.

“We were looking really good just before the season but since the pandemic started to happen the numbers started to drop,” he said. “At the start of the season we were looking at seven or eight teams and now we are looking at three to four but with our first game on Sunday, July 12 we might get a few players back and interested.

Gympie Cats junior Mitch Penn has been practicing every Thursday in the backyard with his Dad while there was no footy. PHOTO: Bec Singh
Gympie Cats junior Mitch Penn has been practicing every Thursday in the backyard with his Dad while there was no footy. PHOTO: Bec Singh

“Our first training session is tomorrow, and we have gotten more direction about the rules which means we can have more of a presence on social media and get them excited to play again.

Killian said the club could be financially sustainable for the return but could not afford to skip 2020 season.

“We have (club president) Ann-Maire Warren the club’s appointed COVID-19 officer. After every training session the balls need to be cleaned, we have hand sanitiser that has to be used and the bar, change rooms and canteens are shut,” he said.

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“We are the cheapest club on the Sunny Coast and we have some great volunteers and sponsors. There are so many sports here in Gympie and we want to just get a slice of the pie. Some of the older players have lost interest this season and if we choose not to play we do not know how many more we will lose.

“It is important that we come back and get a bit more normalcy in their lives.

“It has been harder for the older children but the young ones adapt quicker.”

Gympie Times


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