WHILE she will be no longer in the role when seasons start next year, outgoing AFL Central Victoria regional general manager Carol Cathcart desperately hopes communities can get back to supporting their teams without interruption in 2022.
Cathcart has tendered her resignation as the AFLCV region general manager - a position she has held since January, 2017.
The past two years, though, have proven particularly challenging and disrupted by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic that forced the cancellation of the entire 2020 season and all of the region's 2021 seasons being called off without any finals being played.
The lack of football and netball - as well as hockey in the North Central league - over the past two years has robbed communities of that all-important social connection that sporting clubs provide.
"Through my role I've made it my business to get out to clubs every week and spread myself around all our leagues and I remember one of the first conversations I had with some people from the North Central league that has really stuck with me," Cathcart said.
"They said to me, 'you need to remember that this is our entertainment; we don't have cinemas, we don't have lots of restaurants to go to in our small town, community sport is our entertainment for the week. It's where we go to meet people and socialise and is the lifeblood of what we do'.
"That has always stuck with me, especially for those smaller towns and for me, I've seen my role as to try to make sure that sport remains a place of entertainment and for communities to be able to get together.
I've seen my role as to try to make sure that sport remains a place of entertainment and for communities to be able to get together- Carol Cathcart
"Whether it's a junior player just starting out or a volunteer who has been with the club for years, our clubs are such an important place for our communities."
Cathcart will finish in the role in December.
Meanwhile, the Heathcote District Football-Netball League has set the date for its Cheatley Medal vote count - September 27.
"My view as chairman of the HDFNL is it's our duty to provide a safe environment for all our participants to play in and our spectators to watch games in," Cole said.
Cathcart said AFLCV would "follow health advice and policies from AFL Victoria and Netball Victoria".
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.