We know team spirit on the footy field can be the winning difference, and in these challenging times we’ll be discovering how local footy clubs are bringing out their best and displaying fighting community spirit.
By Paula Brinkworth
It’s usually the time for schnitty or steak nights at the local footy club, but while the season is on hold volunteers at the Robe Football and Netball Club have instead positioned themselves to help locals in the seaside town doing it tough.
With the Coronavirus pandemic bringing the popular holiday destination on the Limestone Coast to a virtual closure, the club wanted to do something to help the many local families and young workers now without a job or little income from tourism.
Spearheaded by former club president John Fenton, they have started a community food bank over the past week utilising the club’s empty freezers and refrigerators for storage.
The food bank, supported by the District Council of Robe, will ensure free boxes of fresh locally produced fruit, vegetables and meat – all donated by local growers – are available to anyone in need, starting from Good Friday.
In addition, the club has already raised thousands of dollars in donations, allowing it to provide hundreds of free ready-made meals prepared by chefs at local café Adventurous Spoon to members of the community in financial hardship.
“The support has been just amazing and shows what a community can do when it comes together,” Fenton said.
“Within four days of opening a community bank account we had $7,000 donated.”
Players and volunteers from the club are all lending a hand to collect and package the produce.
The produce is being washed and prepared in the club canteen, with only two volunteers working at a time to adhere to national group gathering restrictions and social distancing. The boxed produce then will be available after 4pm each day for collection or drop off.
According to Fenton, it’s not the first time the Robe community has banded together to help others in need. In January the community collectively raised $25,000 to assist Kangaroo Island community affected by the devastating bushfires.
**At this challenging time, if you have a story about how your local football club is showing great community spirit, we’d love to hear from you. Email us at [email protected]**
Sign up to see all the news from around the SANFL each week – directly in your inbox!