Community sports stuck on the sidelines


Karlie Brady


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Community sporting codes including the Port Douglas Crocs have had their seasons put on ice. Image: Richard Nichol – RAWI.

As the coronavirus situation continues to unfold, the impact is being felt hard by community sporting clubs, with many of the Shires major clubs cancelling training and suspending their seasons.


The Port Douglas Crocs AFL Club won’t run out onto the field again until at least 31 May with the AFL, AFL Queensland, and AFL Cairns postponing all community football.

In a statement released by AFL Cairns today, they said the health and well-being of fans, players, umpires, officials, partners, volunteers and communities is the priority.

“We are determined to be part of the whole of community response to slow this COVID-19 virus down – and in doing so, help the broader community and our health systems to cope,” the statement reads.

“All matches, training, Auskick, development and talent programs will no longer be held under the recommended policy.

“It is vital that support and engagement in community football continues during these times. It is vital players, coaches, administrators, supporters, sponsors, volunteers and kids retain close links to their local clubs, Auskick Centres and wider league network.”

The Crocs senior coach, Brad Cooper, said while it’s a disappointing decision that was out of his hands, he trusts that the decision made by the AFL was in everyone’s best interest.

“All clubs will get together and come up with the best process in getting the season up and running,” he said.

The annual Crocs Pink in the Tropics charity match for Breast Cancer was scheduled to be held in May during the now postponed period, but Mr Cooper said they will endeavour to reschedule it.

“It’s a priority of our club that we do make sure that that it goes ahead as it’s very beneficial for our community," he said.


The Douglas Netball Association has also announced all games and training sessions will be suspended until Monday 20 April.

The suspension follows recommendations from Netball Queensland that all community netball be suspended in the wake of COVID-19.

Douglas Netball has said it will continue to monitor the ever-changing situation and will keep players and family’s updated.

Rugby Union

The Reef Raiders recent pre-season win won’t be followed up anytime soon either with the beginning of their season also put on ice as the Queensland Rugby Union suspends all affiliated and sanctioned community Rugby competitions.

The Port Douglas Rugby Union Club said: “It is with deep regret that we have to say this, all rugby, games and training, have been cancelled indefinitely until 2 May due to COVID-19. As soon as a new draw/season has been decided on we will be sure to let you fellow rugby lovers know.”

Rugby League

The Mossman and Port Douglas Sharks have also suspended all training and games till 1 May.

President, Jason Sasano, said the club will continue to review the situation with its governing bodies in deciding how the season will proceed.

The David Oui 9’s competition scheduled for this weekend has also been cancelled.

The pre-season tournament was set to see all clubs in the Cairns District Rugby League competition participate in Mossman. This is the third time the event has been scheduled and the third time it has been called off with the previous two years being due to the weather.


It’s much the same news for the Douglas United Football Club with Football Queensland immediately postponing all Football Queensland administered competitions effective immediately, including all training and associated football-related activities until at least 14 April.

Douglas United Football Club Vice President, Mathew Macmaster, said the club will be in communication with the community when more develops.

“We are waiting for further details on registrations cost and changes,” he said,


The Muddies Douglas Cricket Association have announced that the remainder of the summer cricket season has been cancelled.

The Muddies presentation night has also been cancelled at this stage however the club has said it will look at holding a joint season launch and trophy presentation around August.


The Douglas Heat Basketball is also not immune to the pandemic’s fallout saying it will be shutting down its season until further notice.

School sport

The Queensland Department of Education has advised that all representative school sports programs, including district, regional, state, national, interstate and international competitions, have been cancelled until further notice.

At Mossman State Hight School the upcoming junior and senior swimming carnivals and the AFL Boys and Girls Schools Cups have also been postponed.

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