AFL Central Victoria is encouraging football and netball players, coaches, umpires, volunteers and sponsors to re-engage with their communities as part of a new campaign.
The recently launched Play On 2022 campaign aims to reinvigorate community football and netball after what has been two COVID-19 interrupted seasons.
"It's critically important that we get our community back involved with local clubs," Bendigo Football Netball League manager Cameron Tomlins said.
"One thing we've learned more than anything is how important and how members of the community appreciate being part of a sports club.
"Local sporting communities understand the sense of belonging to a club which has been disjointed during 2020/2021, so it's critical that we reconnect the playing groups, coaches, umpires, and volunteers to promote both football and netball, and return the enjoyment and many benefits of participation."
Tomlins said the emphasis of the campaign was aimed at all levels of community sport.
"Volunteers are the backbone for all clubs," he said.
"They undertake so many important roles on match day and without them the games simply wouldn't go ahead.
Tomlins said there wasn't a "crystal ball" outlook for the season ahead, but was more than confident that 2022 competitions would look closer to normal than the previous two years.
"Clubs and leagues are doing incredible work in providing safe environments," he said.
"At this point in time we feel the season will be a lot more normal than previous years.
"We don't have a crystal ball to look into next year, but what we do know is that we've learned to be flexible and to adapt quickly.
"From where we are sitting right now everything is looking good and there's a general buzz throughout the community ahead of the 2022 season."
Other changes next season include the introduction of PlayHQ as the new registration and administrative platform for football competitions.
PlayHQ will allow clubs and players to take care of registrations, payments, fixtures, live scoring, statistics and competition management all on the one platform.
Meanwhile, Netball Victoria associations will migrate from MyNetball to Netball Connect which is another digital platform to help manage competition data.
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