Three years after the local AFL team disbanded the Cobar Blues Football & Netball Club now looks set to fold.
In 2015 the Blues were struggling to field an AFL side and were thrown out of the Northern Riverina League competition.
The club’s three senior representative netball teams (who had strong teams and good numbers) were also excluded from playing in the Northern Riverina Netball League which was affiliated with the AFL competition.
Despite numerous attempts to resurrect an AFL side, the club has not fielded a team for the past three seasons and has only been running an Auskick junior program and sending their representative Open and Under 15s netballers to various carnivals and State Championships.
In 2016 the club ran an AFL 9’s local mixed competition in an attempt to spark some re-interest in the game.
“Unfortunately, this ended up being yet another footy program being run by a group of netballers, with no help from any of the AFL players,” Blues Club spokesperson Tanya Gilbert said.
The Auskick program, while very well supported by children keen to play the game, was being run predominately by netballers, none of whom had children playing Auskick.
“We elected not to do this again in 2017 as it was very labour intensive on just a couple of people,” Gilbert said.
She said attempts to elect a new Auskick committee have been futile with no one turning up for the recent annual general meeting which had been widely advertised.
Gilbert said with the Cobar Netball Association now keen to take over representative netball to ensure their club goes forward, and with no interest shown in a committee to form an Auskick competition, the only option left to the club is to fold.
“We as a committee and long standing members of the club are very sad and disappointed to see what used to be such a strong club, come to an end,” Gilbert said.
“We feel very passionately about the appropriate distribution of our assets and want to see the funds go back into the whole community.
“These funds were raised by hard working committee members, volunteers and players who organised and participated in fundraising events, as well as kind sponsorship from within the Cobar community and surrounds.
“We therefore feel it is important to invest back into the local community with a project that is sustainable for the long term and will be available and enjoyed by many associations, clubs and organisations into the future.”
She said the process of winding up is spelled out in the NSW Fair Trading’s Incorporated Associations procedures.
“In summary – we will need to have a special resolution passed at our AGM that approves the cancellation of our Incorporated Association registration and also propose the distribution of our assets.
“With this, we must apply and lodge an application to NSW Fair Trading for approval.”
It’s proposed the club’s financial assets would go to a trust fund held by the Cobar Shire Council to go towards a community facility at Ward Oval, which will be available for all sporting bodies in Cobar in the future.
“Our vision is to financially support a future grant application to establish a community sporting groups clubhouse at Ward Oval, which we want to see include a canteen facility, segregated secure storage for all the clubs, and a club room with display cabinets, where meetings can be held, training can be conducted, and club memorabilia can be on display.”
Any AFL and netball equipment will be donated to the local schools and groups.
The club will hold their special meeting next Monday.