Around the Clubs

President on the prowl to keep football going

July 22nd, 2021

When Coffs Coast Tigers president Mellesa Bennett dons the cape of ground duty officer/COVID enforcer, sit back and admire a superhero effort.
But even Mellesa raised a brow when she realised she’d taken 22,000 steps on a recent Saturday.
The google guesstimate for that is 17.6km – nearly a half-marathon, though long distance runners don’t have to lug a clipboard.
“That day I started at 8.15 and wasn’t finished until 8.30 that night,” Mellesa said.
“Our canteen manager Andrew Campbell started at 7.30 and was there all day too.”
One could almost think that COVID made Mellesa fit – but in fact it made her crook.
The 22,000 steps checking players and punters were obeying protocols was followed in short order by Mellesa coming down with a viral infection of the non-COVID variety.
“I lost my voice for eight days, and for five of those I couldn’t get out of bed. Plus I had to get the dreaded COVID test just to make sure,” she said.
Mellesa recalled her super Saturday at the ground was the first weekend of the tighter restrictions spurred by the Sydney outbreak.
Despite the sudden rule changes, most were compliant, or happy to do so when advised of the latest requirements.
“People have been good with the masks, but it’s harder with the QR codes because some might not walk to the canteen to sign in. So I was proactive and walked around the ground – lap after lap – taking the code with me,” she said.
While it’s a minor inconvenience to sign-in and wear a mask, Mellessa said people need to think of the bigger picture.
“We have an obligation to do the right thing – to the government, to the community, to football,” she said.
“If we want to play football that’s the deal, because we love seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces and the competitiveness of the CPL.”

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