As a proud, passionate follower and supporter of my local football/netball club, the Tarwin Sharks, I earnestly implore all similar supporters and volunteers of other clubs in the Alberton Football Netball League to get behind their respective clubs and not only sign the petition to ‘Save the Alberton League’, but get your president/secretary to again (as I am sure they have already done so!) to stir the pot in relation to keeping the league going.
My involvement with my club extends some 30 years, which I’m sure for many of you is exceeded easily.
I am just a very, very small cog in a massive network of hard working, caring, passionate, dedicated volunteers who keep our local footy/netball clubs going. I do my bit, but I could do more.
During my involvement, I have seen the league go from a strong and vibrant competition consisting of Phillip Island, Kilcunda-Bass, Dalyston, Wonthaggi Rovers, Inverloch-Kongwak, Korumburra-Bena, Tarwin, Meeniyan Dumbalk United, Fish Creek, Stony Creek, Foster, Toora, DWWWW, and Yarram, to the existing combination of just six teams! Very sad indeed.
I remember often watching the results in the Omeo & District league, which also consists of six teams, and thinking, how do they keep going?
I am aware that in many country towns local football teams have had to amalgamate with a neighbouring town to stay viable – consider this – once they were probably bitter rivals, and now they are on the same side (not ideal) or even worse, they have folded up completely.
There are obviously many reasons for this ie, the economy, populations, lack of work, lack of funds, younger generations moving to the city, etc.
Whatever the reason, as a passionate footy ‘nut’, and in particular, a passionate Tarwin supporter, I do not want to see my club become ‘obsolete’. I do not want the very pretty location of Tarwin Lower to become a ghost town in winter, as has happened to other country towns when one of the main hubs is ‘killed’ off.
I do not want to wake up Saturday morning and know there is no game on. I do not want to think that local kids don’t have the opportunity to run around in the fresh air (like we did as kids) and strut their stuff at ‘Shark Park’ like their local heroes do, and have done in the past.
I want to be able to look forward to the game, the drive there if an away fixture through the best scenery in the state, listening to the Coodabeens on the car radio, the anticipation of a great contest, and hopefully a win.
A hot pie, a cold beer, the friendly banter with the opposition (mostly friendly), the atmosphere in the rooms, the great camaraderie, the win, the club song… It doesn’t get much better than that for a footy tragic.
Alberton League, don’t take that away. Sure we are also struggling to make up the numbers in the thirds competition. Something that is certainly not unique to our league. But, come with me on a Sunday morning, or a Friday night and watch the next generation of footy champs in the Under 10s and Under 12s, or at the many Auskick programs being conducted around the region. Come and have a look at the future.
Alberton League, don’t take that away – please.
Come on footy supporters, get on board. Once it’s gone, it’s gone for good.
Rob Cameron, Venus Bay.