Sport plays such a significant role in the life and spirit of country communities, in the early phases of the pandemic the loss of local footy, netball, other sports and community activities hit us hard.
Not to mention the loss of our national codes for some time – which comes with it the ritual of watching your favourite team go around.
This Saturday, NRL fans at Queanbeyan will gather to cheer on their beloved Green Machine - with the Canberra Raiders returning to their spiritual home of Seiffert Oval to play the Sydney Roosters ahead of the first round of the NRL on March 14.
Ricky Stuart and the Raiders have a bond with the Queanbeyan community that draws people together – people of all backgrounds and beliefs gather to cheer from the sideline - untied by their passion for the Raiders.
Ricky and his team take their community spirit and involvement beyond the paddock into schools and grassroots clubs.
Community programs like 'Aspire' which I've had the opportunity to witness first hand at Michelago Public School and a thank you to Alan Taunge and his foundation for the work they do in regards to the work they do around respect, mental health and domestic violence.
These people are aware of the power they carry as role models and leaders to young and old.
Good luck this Saturday Raiders.
We’ve pushed hard to try and win another premiership over the last couple of seasons and I can’t help but think the challenges of 2020-2021 give those of us whose blood runs green added resolve to go one step further.
Go the Raiders!
Photo from Canberra Raiders: Seiffert Oval