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Dear BFNC Member, supporter, or associate Please read this letter in its entirety as it is vital that everyone is aware of the position of the Bentleigh Football Netball Club. We hope this letter finds you and your family well and you are getting back to some sort of normality. At this point in time it appears the SFNL are endeavouring to reopen on July 25  implementing a nine game season with the Grand Final to be played on October 17, however this is not confirmed yet. Most clubs are extremely anxious with the situation trying to juggle responsible management whilst meeting the desires and needs of their playing members.  Interestingly the Northern, Western and Eastern Leagues, and many country Leagues, are not reopening in 2020, ensuring their clubs and competitions are financial for the 2021 season.  It is human nature to identify with a group.  It all goes back to a need in humans that is tribal, and that probably explains why social isolation has been so hard, and the lack of sport has been felt by us all. Have you missed it?  What if it was like this all the time – no team, no footy, no netball?  No club.  Imagine that. Whether it’s your daughter getting her first kick, or your son getting his first goal, as a parent, or grandparent, being involved is a rich experience. I have been lucky enough to see it as a Bentleigh player, a parent, a junior club president, and senior committeeman through to a parent watching his kids in the juniors then the seniors. Two boys playing footy and two girls playing netball. This year everything is different. Our club is in a situation like never before.  Our sporting club is one of the biggest in the South Eastern region comprising of 3 senior teams, 2 under 19 teams, 40 Womens footballers and 4 netball teams.  This incorporates almost 200 playing members.  As a committee we need to make a decision by June 22 if we are going to participate in the SFNL for the 2020 season.  We also need to consider the long-term viability of our club and its position financially for the 2021 season and beyond.  Our biggest concern is accruing significant losses to provide a nine week playing season for our members. Even without having to pay normal costs to council and only paying half the normal costs to the SFNL, and without paying any players, the club needs to raise $55K just to break even and cover the bare essentials of operating costs such as equipment, medical expenses and insurance.  The operating costs for a normal season would be much higher. Sponsorship has dropped substantially and the normal revenue raising from social functions, bar receipts and other fund-raising methods has been wiped out by COVID-19 restrictions. If we do not meet this budget it will mean the club will face the 2021 season with accrued losses and debts. It is for this reason we ask you to please consider purchasing a 2020 BFNC social membership for $50.  Please see the attached Social Membership package.  We urge you to not say YES that’s a good idea and leave it to someone else to contribute.  Don’t just expect that the person next to you will make the effort, or that you can leave it to the stalwarts who have always chipped in money, resources and time. It means every shoulder to the wheel to get Bentleigh up and going. I would also like to point out that many of our wonderful volunteers who give up their time every weekend to help run the club and assist with fundraising are between the age of 60 and 80 and at present feel quite vulnerable in returning to their regular roles at our great club, so we are asking  players, parents, grandparents and supporters to get involved and assist us any way you can. You deserve it. Your daughters, sons and your teammates deserve it. Make the effort.  Think how you can be involved via donating or purchasing something for our on-line auction to be announced soon, or get involved in the other financial support ideas which we will unveil over the coming weeks. Suburban sporting clubs make a difference to the community in a way that any number of council organised schemes can never do. There will never be a sound as sweet as that siren that signals the long-awaited start to the 2020 season. Now more than ever before you can make it happen. Yours in football Russell Holmesby Dragon Club Coterian Paul Dimattina President

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