Seymour Telegraph

Club orchestrat­es clean-up

- By Zac Standish

As floodwater descended on its Kings Park home, engulfing its change rooms, football field and netball courts, it would have been easy for those involved with the Seymour Football Netball Club to focus solely on their clean-up effort.

But if you have ever been associated with the people at Seymour, you will know that just isn’t in their nature.

Instead, the club used its wide-ranging platform to help orchestrat­e the clean-up effort for the entire town, putting its own backyard to the side for a period of time to give those in more dire situations the help they needed.

Posting on its Facebook page, which has more than 3200 followers, at regular intervals throughout the past five days, the club has been organising volunteer teams to lighten the cleaning load on struggling businesses.

Local establishm­ents such as Wattle Motel, BFT Seymour, Seymour Stockfeed and Garages, Winery Kitchen, The Prince Hotel and Araminta Tea Rooms were among those the volunteers reached in their efforts on Monday and Tuesday as the cleanup crew continues to make its way across town.

Seymour Football Netball Club president Gerard O’Sullivan said he had been overwhelme­d by the response of the community in getting out to help those in need.

“The footy club and the townspeopl­e who are supporting us in the clean-up effort are focusing more on getting businesses and residences sorted before we focus on ourselves,” O’Sullivan said.

“We have had an extraordin­ary response to the clean-up effort so far. Teams of 10 to 20 people making their way around to businesses all over town — it’s been great to see.

“We’re just focusing on getting those most affected back to some sort of normality so they can move on, because those businesses and residents are the heartbeat of our town.”

As the days have gone on, O’Sullivan said more and more people had gotten involved in the cleanup effort in what he described as “community spirit at its very best”.

“I don’t want this to be isolated as just a footy club thing. This has been a real town effort here. People from all over the community are helping and it’s a wonderful thing,” he said.

“There was up to 70 people at the Wattle Street Motel on Sunday night, volunteeri­ng their time to help those guys out a bit.

“And since then the numbers have just been rising — it has been community spirit at its best and it’s wonderful to see.”

In terms of how the club’s facilities held up, O’Sullivan gave a brief update, but with floodwater­s still lingering he said the club was yet to find out the true extent of the damage.

“To the best of our knowledge, our actual club rooms might have been spared. The Eastern Hill Cricket Club rooms have been significan­tly damaged, along with the football club gym, time keeper’s box and scoreboard,” he said.

“We really don’t know the full extent of the damage, though, because the ground itself is still under severe flooding, so we can’t get access to the rooms to assess it.

“The impact on not only us but the entire town has been devastatin­g and it’s going to be a long, long clean-up for the community.”

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