Southern Inland Rugby Union and Brumbies Rugby have halved their 2020 affiliation fees ahead of the season’s opening round on July 18.
Tumut Bulls president, Jon Carmody was happy to see the reduction but said it had to happen ahead of what will be a shortened season.
“We are very thankful but it also needed to happen,” Carmody said.
“I know sport in this current time has taken a big hit, especially Rugby Australia with the sacking of some bosses and the fact that people have walked out recently, but If you are only going to play half a season, you should only have to pay half.”
Carmody said those who would appreciate the reduction to affiliation costs were those most impacted by Covid-19 and the recent bushfires.
“Absolutely it’s good, especially for those guys knocked around by everything,” Carmody said.
“We have been lucky that a lot of guys here have been able to work but some haven’t been able to work and were affected by the bushfires, so it’s a good outcome.
“It also means a few extra dollars in the back pocket for a few more beers at the Royal.”
SIRU President, Warwick Grant hopes the 50 per cent reduction will assist junior and senior competitions and those clubs involved that have been impacted by the Coronavirus crisis.
“With the reduction in season length for both the SIRU senior and junior competitions for 2020, the SIRU board agreed at their July meeting that association/affiliation fees would be reduced by 50% in 2020,” Grant said.
“This will see the savings passed on directly to the players in the junior competition, and will greatly assist clubs in the senior competition.
“Clubs are charged an annual affiliation fee to participate in the competition, which assists SIRU with the costs associated with running the competitions, representative programs and development programs in schools throughout the calendar year.”
With some SIRU activities on hold or reduced due to Covid-19, Grant hopes the reduction in affiliation fees will assist clubs, particularly the smaller clubs, and their members during this difficult time for community sport.
“The impact for many clubs has been significant across the board; players have been impacted with job losses, clubs have been unable to field teams, conduct fund raisers or honour sponsorship arrangements,” Grant said.
“The response from clubs to having a revised competition in 2020 has been very positive and has supported SIRU with their efforts to have a rugby competition, and this is another way SIRU is able to assist.
“The reductions will take effect by the end of the week. SIRU will be communicating with Clubs over the coming days.”