Group 16's headline pre-season event, the Indigenous All Stars round has had some timely support with an injection of $5000 from the State Government.
Group 16 chairman Allan Wilton said the funding was a wonderful gesture and would cover the costs of the playing kit for both men's and women's teams.
"With the effects in recent years of firstly the bushfires, the floods and now the COVID-19 pandemic, our community and our businesses have gone through extremely challenging times and it is too big a burden to ask them to provide sponsorship in support of events like this," Mr Wilton said.
"It was very timely support from the State Government because our communities are struggling.
"We're very grateful for that help from the government as it is near impossible to hold an event like this without that kind of support."
He said the group had approached then Minister for Bega Andrew Constance and the Minister for Sport Stuart Ayers and were delighted to get support for the iconic pre-season event.
Mr Wilton said the Indigenous All Stars round will herald a later start to the season than usual as the competition has pushed back to make way for the Easter and Anzac Day long weekends.
Selectors are in the throes of choosing the teams currently and despite an abrupt finish to the season in 2021, Mr Wilton is confident they can identify the right people.
"We have a very good knowledge of our local players here now that has been built up over a number of years."
However, there is always room for new players joining the Group 16 competition to leave an impression as well.
"Exciting new talent coming into Group 16 clubs are certainly in consideration for their selection suitability."
With the Bega masterplan upgrades nearing a development application, Mr Wilton said the new build could also mark a golden age for local footy.
"The building of a long overdue facility at the Bega Recreation and George Griffin grounds will certainly enhance Group 16's ability to showcase local finals and enjoy the prospective of NRL trial or competition games," Mr Wilton said.
He said the build would create a marvellous regional sporting hub for all the user groups attached to it.
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