GAME OFF: Warwick and District Junior Rugby League officials made the difficult decision to cancel the season with coronavirus restrictions making a return too difficult.
GAME OFF: Warwick and District Junior Rugby League officials made the difficult decision to cancel the season with coronavirus restrictions making a return too difficult.

SEASON CANNED: 2020 Junior rugby league called off

RUGBY LEAGUE: The Southern Downs’ young rugby league stars will have to wait another year for kick off, after the 2020 Warwick and District Junior Rugby League competition was officially cancelled this week.

On Thursday night, the 11 registered clubs voted on whether this year’s season should go ahead, and the WDJRL’s fate was sealed after only four clubs supported its return.

President Deb Scanlan said while the committee had been working closely with clubs to meet post-coronavirus Queensland Rugby League guidelines, many remained concerned over low volunteer numbers.

“We attended several meetings with QRL and kept the clubs informed of restrictions as they were being lifted,” Scanlan said.

“It really came to the point where people were wanting to know whether we were going back or not, and clubs were wanting to know as well.

“It was down to the clubs to decide, as we’d given them all the information that we could or had, knowing very well that things could change again, and that was the decision that was made.”

The association’s president said while clubs, volunteers, and most of all the players would greatly miss their rugby league, she was already seeing promising signs for the 2021 season.

“I totally appreciate that they’re all volunteers, and how hard it was for the clubs to have made that decision, “ Scanlan said.

“We’ll just do our best to make the season bigger and better next year.

“I just want kids playing footy again – that’s my ultimate goal, to get these kids out and active and playing rugby league.”

Collegians Junior Rugby League president David O’Leary said he was disappointed for the club’s 200 registered players, but they too were already looking forward to next year.

“With the restrictions currently in place by the State Government, it just came down to volunteer numbers and our hands were tied for a large part of it,” O’Leary said.

“We were prepared to put forward Under 12s, 14s, 16s, and Under 15s league tag, but I also fully understand where the other clubs were coming from.

“It was only last week that we could have 60 people on the field in segregated areas, which is why we had the push to get something started up, but it didn’t go ahead so we need to start looking forward.”

O’Leary said he hoped the players, their families, and other volunteers would take the extended off-season as a chance to rest and recharge before taking the field again in 2021.

“Hopefully, everyone will come back refreshed and ready to take on a new season,” he said.

“Unfortunately we’re not the only sport who’s had to go through it this year, and we probably won’t be the last.

“All we can hope is there’ll be a little bit more scope next year allowed among the QRL and the NRL to put a little bit more footy into the calendar for the kids to make up for it.”


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