Under 18s join as Bundaberg say ‘yes’
Author : Cameron Stallard QRL content producer
The Bundaberg Junior Rugby League is “ready to get on with it” after voting to return footy to the Sugar City on July 25.
At a general meeting with club and league officials tonight, BJRL chairman Wayne Bender confirmed all age groups would return, with the Salter Oval complex aiming to be used as a hub for all matches.
“Our committee has put a lot of work into preparing protocols before making tonight’s decision, so now that we’ve said ‘yes’, we’re ready to get on with it,” Bender said.
“Our plan of attack is to use Salter Oval and Wests’ field on the back of Salter Oval as people can park up there and watch their kids play footy from their cars to ensure we remain under the current 100 [person per venue] limit.
“Also in line with the guidelines, we’ve locked down all the dressing sheds and spectators will need to bring their own chairs as we’ve also locked down all the grandstands.
“But if they [State Government] can lift the ground number restrictions, that will make it even easier.”
Tonight’s decision also included the inclusion of an Under 18 competition for this season only after Bundaberg Seniors (the usual hosts of this age group) decided not to proceed with the 2020 season earlier this month.
“We’re actually going to take the Under 18s on for this season only if we can get enough teams in that age group,” Bender said.
“We usually have five Under 18 teams all up so hopefully if we can get at least four, we’ll definitely run a comp, so we’ll have all age groups playing from Under 7s through to Under 18s.”
The League is proposing to run almost a full season of fixtures with grand final day pencilled in for Saturday, October 17.
“We’re looking to run a 12-week season – 10 weeks of games and two weeks of finals,” Bender said.
“The first week of finals will see team’s two and three in each competition play off and the winner will play team number one in the grand final on October 17.
“We won’t be stopping for school holidays this year, instead choosing to play right through [the Term 3 school holidays], so it’ll be all systems go from start to finish.”
The League becomes the 13th in the state to green-light a return, and will now work with their coastal cousins Rugby League Fraser Coast – who plays in partnership with Bundaberg juniors – to ensure both areas are ready to kick-off in just over five weeks.
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