The AFL today announced an AFL Flood Relief package to assist clubs affected by NSW’s March floods.

While visiting a flood-affected club in Richmond, NSW, the AFL’s CEO, Gillon McLachlan, said the funding could be used for anything that would help clubs recover from the natural disaster.

“These floods were devastating for so many people across NSW,” Mr McLachlan said. “As it sits, we have eleven football clubs significantly impacted in NSW and of course we want to help, especially with the community season getting underway this weekend. This money is for them to spend on what is most pressing to ensure their players and officials can get on with the game as seamlessly as possible.”

The AFL has made $50,000 available initially to distribute to affected clubs and will consider granting special compensation to clubs that have experienced extraordinary losses. For many clubs, the clean-up continues and each of them will be supported by the AFL through the AFL Flood Relief funds and administration assistance.

Mr McLachlan visited the Hawkesbury Saints Junior AFC and Nor-West Jets AFC, which share a home at Bensons Lane Reserve, Richmond. Their two-storey clubhouse was almost completely submerged in the flood with the adjoining playing arena completely underwater, including an electronic scoreboard. These clubs will each receive $5,000 from the AFL to help them recover from the March deluge.

AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan and Hawkesbury Saints president Heath Sharp with junior players at Bensons Reserve, Richmond. Picture: Narelle Spangher

Head of AFL NSW/ACT, Tiffany Robertson, said the clubs will welcome this relief from the AFL. “Devastating events like the March floods show us there is much more to life than football,” Ms Robertson said. “However, football can unite a community and clear their minds from challenges off the field. I’m proud the AFL can assist these clubs recover from the floods and ensure they continue to be an integral part of their communities.”

Round 1 of many NSW community AFL leagues begin on the weekend of 10 April, with others in following weekends. Visit www.aflnswact.com.au for further information.