Bonnie Cavanagh.

By Bonnie Cavanagh, BFNC president

Community sport has changed significantly over the past few years.

Across the entire state, we are continuing to see the flow-on effects of COVID-19 and sadly, the negative impact it has had on volunteerism and even motivation.

On Wednesday June 29, Broadford Football Netball Club, BFNC, held a special general meeting to address the club’s future with volunteerism on the decline.

I put on the table bluntly, without more help the club will not run.

We also have key positions becoming vacant at the end-of-season annual general meeting, the secretary and treasurer, both who have given long unwavering service to the club and are seeking other challenges for no negative reason other than its time to move on.

We also need a football operations manager to lead what is a rising football program recently under new leadership.

To no surprise and expected disappointment, I addressed a crowd of no more than 30 of the same faces who have continued to support the club in its tough times and are passionate to see us rise again. For those thinking that surely 30 people is enough to keep a club going, respectfully, think again.

I took on the presidency of the Broadford Football Netball Club in 2019 after being asked to help as the club was in desperate need of a change in direction, and leadership. This was pre-COVID.

With enthusiasm, pride, and supported by a terrific team, we worked tirelessly to regroup, redesign and rebuild. This continues to this very day.

The history and purpose of the club has never been lost on me. Every decision I have ever made has had the club’s best interests at heart, guided by our members and committee.

We have achieved some amazing things in a short time, and I continue to be in awe of the players, volunteers, officials, sponsors, members, and die-hard spectators who show up each week and each year to support our great club.

However, there is only so many season cycles one or a small group can sustain at maximum effort without beginning to feel the added weight of work, family, increased compliance requirements, life pressures, unrealistic expectations, year-round demands, personal interest, and motivation.

Unless, there is surety of growing support and not just those replaced by natural attrition and if you’re lucky, succession planning.

Our club is in a great place. It’s in a positive holding position to not only go forward, but to go up in a considered and sustainable way. Future proof even.

We just need more people on the ground to take on tasks that consume our executive and key position holders, and perhaps provide the much-needed breathing space for those worn out by the little ‘spot-fires’ that seem to always pop up at the most inconvenient times.

Now is a great time to re-engage with your community and take a leap of faith by having a red-hot-crack at a leadership role, or start small. The experience is not only highly transferrable but rewarding.

There are some exciting opportunities on the horizon and no-better time to partner with BFNC.

Life as we know it has indeed changed. For some, hardships have rose in unexpected ways, our core personal values have been tested and affirmed, and our priorities have been reassessed that may no longer involve volunteering time for others. And that’s okay.

My point is, we do need more help. People, sponsors and in-kind. If not, the club will close.

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