Eyes on the future for Eyre Peninsula footy

A FORUM to discuss the future of sport, namely football and netball, on the Eyre Peninsula confirmed there are some big decisions on the horizon. 

The Eyre Peninsula Football Council organised the forum which was held on Sunday to discuss its strategic plan, financial sustainability model, the draft Mortlock Shield investigation report, and attracting umpires.

The sustainability of football and netball has long been an issue for the region. 

Eastern Eyre Peninsula and Far West leagues have been hardest hit in the past and are down to four clubs.

But some of those clubs, and even clubs in the slightly healthier looking Great Flinders league, are starting to struggle for numbers. 

The clinical approach to the future of football and netball across Eyre Peninsula, could be for three leagues to cover region - lower, central and western.

But there are a few small problems with this line of thinking, none more so than the fact some clubs and or associations don't want anything to happen.

However, where some clubs are ready or thinking about action for the future, others are happy for things to continue as is.

They are happy with teenagers playing against middle-aged adults just so their clubs and identities can survive - and there is nothing wrong with that.

For some people their sporting club is the most important thing they have in their lives and their families' lives, and those people don't want to see any change.

This is country sport after all.

But if numbers continue to dwindle in the smaller towns and regions like they have in the past, mergers and league boundary changes are likely.

Look at the history of football on the peninsula, the path to now is littered with former clubs that dwindled and declined, or were forced to amalgamate due to declining populations.

Club tradition and the past is something worth celebrating, look at Cummins Ramblers who have a rich history and are marking 100 years this year.

But clubs need to always have at least one eye on the future, populations continue to change and the requirements of football clubs continue to change.

Hopefully through cooperation a sustainable future can be determined.