Sport

Yarroweyah pulls out of Picola District league season

By Aydin Payne

Yarroweyah Football Netball Club will not participate in the upcoming Picola District Football Netball League season.

In a post to their Facebook page on Sunday night, the Hoppers said they had formally withdrawn from all grades of football and netball competition.

The club expressed a range of impacts from COVID-19 for its decision to pull out of the season, which has a proposed start date of July 11.

Yarroweyah is the first club to turn its back on this year's campaign.

The club's Facebook post contained the letter that club president Bill Jones delivered to the league board on June 26.

“This decision has been based on a number of concerns held by the committee, our senior playing group, and the club as a whole through a recent survey,” the letter read.

“The most significant factor to come from the survey was that 75 per cent of respondents indicated they did not want to play football or netball in 2020.

“As a committee we must respect their decisions and follow their lead.”

The letter highlighted the feedback received from the survey and there were a number of concerns from the club's stakeholders.

Those concerns included; health and well-being of players, spectators and volunteers, short and long-term financial viability and increased stress on volunteers.

League operations manager Shane Railton said the decision by Yarroweyah was not a shock to the board.

“No, it wasn't a surprise to us,” Railton said.

“We have been aware of Yarroweyah's position for some time now.

“And like all of our clubs, we have been consulting with them since the start (of the pandemic).

“They (Yarroweyah) will still continue to be involved in all discussions going forward.

“They are a valued member of the Picola league and, although it is unfortunate, we respect their decision.”

Despite Yarroweyah's decision to withdraw from the season, the letter said the club "remain open" to the league conducting a junior round-robin or tournament.

"There would not be a reliance on spectator numbers to enable clubs to make money and holding this in central locations may increase participation rates,’ the letter read.

“We still believe that could be an option for the PDFNL.

“We look forward to working with the PDFNL to make 2021 a bigger and better year.”

Another club delegates’ meeting is scheduled to take place this week.