A group of footy-loving girls jumped at the chance to get together for the first time of the year on Sunday. They didn't care about the $20,000 in sponsorship that had disappeared because of coronavirus. They just wanted a kick with their friends.
The Weston Creek Molonglo Wildcats represent the forgotten faces in the worldwide sporting shutdown, with restrictions keeping children away from winter football seasons.
This was supposed to be a groundbreaking year for the club's junior girls, with four teams - including for the first time an all-girls under-8s team - now waiting to find out whether they'll get to play at all.
The year started with so much promise. The Labor Club increased its sponsorship of the girls program from $3000 to almost $20,000. Then the virus hit and licensed clubs were shutdown.
The Labor Club has felt the impact, but no-nonsense Wildcats president Trudi Fajri has refused to give up. That's why she's about to start calling clubs from every state and territory to ask if the Wildcats can borrow donated uniforms.
"We have no shame in asking for help when it comes to our club. I've done it before," Fajri said.
"I do what I can, I ring around and I beg. We got some from Western Australia before, so we were able to kit out some teams. Last year we got about $3000, the year before that it was $2500 and the year before that it was nothing. So to go to $20,000 was going to be massive, but we understand [the Labor Club's situation] and we've been told we won't get it."
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Junior and senior community sporting clubs around Australia are feeling the pain of the coronavirus. Licensed clubs have been forced to reduce their financial commitments and other sponsors have withdrawn because of the impact on their businesses.
Several leaders like Fajri fear the complications of playing this year and the impact of having reduced funds available for coaching courses, balls, uniforms and affiliation costs.
The ACT government has waived ground-hire fees until September, which has eased some of the pressure. But clubs don't know how many players have already decided not to play even if their competition restarts.
Some Canberra soccer teams have already flagged the prospect of not playing finals this season to cram in as much game time for all participants.
AFL Canberra will meet this week to talk about options for seniors and juniors, and Fajri's on a mission to make sure the Wildcats are ready for whenever they get told to play. Teams will be given five or six weeks notice before playing games.
"You see the AFL sending stuff out about going back, but we don't know how that affects us," Fajri said.
"At the moment we can't get the girls new uniforms, balls or coaching accreditation unless people are willing to pay from their own pockets.
"To hear girls saying they want to grow up playing football is beautiful. These kids don't care about the jerseys, they just want to play. They turn up in the fog. They cry halfway through a game because their poor little hands and noses are frozen.
"We had one team that won one game last season. You would have thought they won the AFL premiership. They were beside themselves, it was unbelievable. They just love it."
The Australian Sports Foundation has launched an online survey in a bid to help clubs like the Wildcats, with the aim to identify the struggles teams will face whenever restrictions are lifted and sport resumes.
Most Canberra community sports are planning to return to play in mid-July, with some senior clubs starting training under new coronavirus guidelines last week. AFL Canberra first grade has reduced its $100,000 salary cap by 50 per cent.
"We want to have a really strong season with plenty of value for our participants, but with integrity at the heart of any season we put together," AFL Canberra development manager Luke Martin said on ABC.
"It's important we focus on the sustainability of clubs in 2020 and beyond this year ... there's a lot of unknowns."