As community sport returned over the weekend, amongst the devastation of recent natural disasters that occurred in the region, there was a great sense of community spirit between the junior clubs, as they banded together to help each other in times of need.
As the Olinda Ferny Creek and Yarra Glen facilities suffered badly from storm damage and flooding, many clubs in the region reached out to offer their support during a difficult time.
With the support of Upwey Tecoma Junior Football Club and Yarra Junction Junior Football Club, the Bloods and the Jets were able to use the venues at Talaskia Reserve and Yarra Junction Recreation Reserve to play their home games as their respective grounds remained in an impractical state.
Junior Operations Coordinator Andy Gibbons said it was great to have the junior clubs come together to help each other out during difficult times and thanked the respective clubs for agreeing to help out during this period.
“It was absolutely fantastic to see our junior clubs really bond together to help one another during one of the most extraordinary times that the Yarra Valley and mountain ranges has ever seen”, he said.
“The region copped it quite hard during this time and I am really proud that our juniors have bonded together in these times.”
With sporting activities now becoming a sacred part of the community, in light of state lockdowns and restrictions that pose difficulties, and now natural disasters, the entire Outer East community have really opened themselves up to ensure their rivals can continue to host games to keep the season going.
With the clear aim of the league now to ensure it can play as many games as possible in 2021, Gibbons agrees it is great to see the sense of community spirit being demonstrated throughout the league, with the intent of clubs to willingly go out of their way to help one another.
“We are going through a tough period with all the various things going on at the moment and it’s great to see that in our league, we have a great sense of community and mateship where we are all here to help each other when we need it,” he explained.
“I am really proud of that.”
Gibbons thanked all the clubs for offering their assistance to the Olinda and Yarra Glen in this time, but in particular to the Upwey and Yarra Junction Junior Football Clubs for allowing them to play their home games at their facilities.
“I am immensely grateful to everyone at both Upwey and Yarra Junction for allowing the two affected clubs to use their facilities during a tough time,” Gibbons said.
“It really highlights the great community spirit we have in AFL Outer East and the clear intent to play, have fun and keep the competition going as much as possible.”