“How has your club culture been impacted by COVID?” - Pakenham Eels Rugby League Club

Pakenham Eels RLC Under 9’s (June 2020)

“How has your club culture been impacted by COVID?”

Initially, during the first lockdown, we tried to engage our members using our social media platforms, and likewise, once we recommenced training. There was a lot of fear and trepidation within our members about Covid. Our player numbers at that time reduced to less than a third of what we had the previous season and we saw this plummet again once the numbers of cases kept going up, ultimately ending our 2020 season.

Although the league held out hope to a resumption of play, our club struggled to be able to justify both the health risks and the financial costs in resuming training for 2020 if and when the restrictions would ease. We also run a summer touch football competition scheduled to commence September this year which is on hold indefinitely, and with only 10 or so weeks left in the year, the chances that we will take the field this year is highly unlikely.

We have tried to keep our members engaged on digital platforms, but given the strong community aspect of our club and its members, this has been a very difficult thing to maintain, especially seeing that what we care about is getting together… our main purpose has been removed which makes continuing to develop and grow our club culture very hard. We are optimistic however for 2021 and we are hopeful that we can return to something that allows us to come together once again.

Jason Buchanan, Club President
Pakenham Eels Rugby League Club
20 October 2020