The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will see sporting clubs more reliant on their supporter base than ever if the winter sports season gets underway in 2020.
This weekend would have seen the start of the Riverina Football League season while the Group 20, Southern Inland and Farrer League seasons would have been entering their second week before the season was postponed indefinitely due to the coronavirus.
Clubs will be going without gate takings and money raised from the canteen which function to help clubs survive alongside club functions and raffles at clubs and pubs which also can't go ahead due to the restrictions in place due to the unfolding pandemic.
One of the biggest club fundraiser to be impacted is the Hay BNS which was scheduled to take place over the June long weekend which helps raise money for the Hay Magpies Rugby League club with club president Jack Byrnes telling The Area News in March that the event is seriously under threat.
Some clubs will get through this crisis with little impact while others may struggle to keep their club afloat in an environment which was already reasonably costly.
This is why it is so essential that when clubs return to business as usual, the supporters get out and support their local clubs.
Sport is a vital part of the community giving an outlet to not only the supporters but also the players who are representing their clubs, and without the fans, the clubs will not be able to come out of this tricky period.
It has been the topic that is brought up straight away, and the normal back pages of players and team success have been replaced by the issue of uncertainty and how to guide clubs through one of the toughest periods in their history.
The season start dates are still at least another couple of months away minimum for most sports it seems a return date before the end of May seems unlikely despite what some of the major sporting codes seem to think.
There does seem to be growing hope surrounding a return to play for rugby league, but an early return has the potential to do much more harm than good.