Pirates find positives in toughest season yet
NOT playing footy has put a huge financial stress on the Noosa Pirates Rugby League Club, but they still have a lot to be grateful for.
There has been a compete halt to all team sports across the country due to COVID-19 enforced social restrictions.
While the players and supporters have been impacted, it is the clubs themselves that really suffer.
Sporting clubs everywhere are facing significant financial woes due to lack of revenue from home games and refund requests from families and sponsors.
But for the Pirates, while the road ahead may be a long one, club president and First Division coach Brett Winkler has been overwhelmed by the support for the club.
“Out of a few hundred registrations, we’ve had only four or five asked for their money back,” he said.
“99 per cent have said, ‘we’ll keep our money in the club’.
“They’ve said, ‘we want to play, and we want to back the club’,” he said.
“Not one of the sponsors has asked for their money back.”
Getting back on the paddock is the main priority, but as Winkler explains, a shortened season is not the answer.
“Only playing one round will not help us out of this,” he said.
“We need 8 or 9 home games just to cover costs.
“We are prepared to play until December.”
Despite news of the NRL due to kick-off again on Thursday, May 28, grassroots footy is still yet to finalise a recommencement date.
“We don’t know, the QRL has said nothing will happen before June 1,” Winkler said.
“I am hoping we could start our comp in the first week of July.”
It may be one of the toughest periods the sport, and more locally, the Pirates have ever faced.
But they are adamant, they will come back bigger and better.
“We’ll survive, we’ll get through it,” Winkler said.
“It’ll be a challenging road back, but the club will get there.
“We have a great sense of community.”