Despite the challenges posed by COVID-19, Illawarra Division Rugby League (IDRL) resumed last Saturday, 25 July, providing junior and senior players with the opportunity to again participate in Rugby League in the Illawarra region.
Season 2020: By the numbers
· 28 senior teams participating in six Illawarra Division Rugby League competitions (MCR IRL Men’s and South32 IRL Women’s)
· Three senior teams participating in NSWRL competitions
· 260 teams returning to the field across 20 age-based competitions in the Bendigo Bank Illawarra Junior League – Participation is only slightly down on 2019 figures, which is a good outcome in the current circumstances.
The Illawarra District RLFC (Steelers) and the IDRL Board of Management acknowledged the efforts of clubs and volunteers, for making this return a reality.
“The work from all clubs to address COVID-19 protocols and controls set down by NSWRL have been significant,” IRL Manager Chris Bannerman said.
“A big thanks to our competition partners in MCR, South32 Illawarra Metallurgical Coal and Bendigo Bank (Oak Flats and Shellharbour Community Bank Branches) who have continued to support IDRL during 2020 making delivery of our competitions possible.”
Other partners including UOW College Australia, Cleary Bros. and Steelers have made it possible for BarTV to be engaged to provide match recording services without any levy on our clubs.
A reminder that continued adherence to COVID-19 protocols at all Rugby League fixtures in Illawarra remains paramount, including attendance registration, hand sanitising, social distancing, and management of attendance numbers by host clubs.
Several local venues where IDRL officials attended last Saturday were noted as being very well organised by the home club and taking all reasonable measures to implement required protocols.
“Whilst the 2020 season will remain challenging, the continued efforts of all participants in Illawarra Rugby League to keep clubs active and competitions viable will ensure we make the best of this modified season,” Bannerman added.