A total of 80 Northern-Rivers based community organisations have received $720,000 through CommBank’s Flood Relief Fund to help ongoing recovery efforts, including Lismore Workers Baseball Club and South Lismore Celtics Football Club. Both clubs received a $10,000 Flood Relief Grant from CommBank to help get Lismore’s sporting community back up and running again.

Lismore Workers Baseball Club is the largest club in the Northern Rivers region and provides a strong community setting for Lismore residents to play baseball. The club provides a safe place to learn new skills and fosters a sense of belonging through its focus on inclusivity. Its junior and senior teams bring together several players from low socioeconomic backgrounds or with disability, providing a place to build confidence and relationships.

Speaking about the flood aftermath, the Lismore Workers Baseball Club said: “Our playing fields were completely inundated with flood water. Our sheds were designed and built at a height in which would ensure equipment would never flood, yet just a year later they were all under except for the roof. All our gear was damaged at a devastating cost to our club. 

“With help from a CommBank $10,000 Flood Relief Grant, we could begin purchasing the gear needed to replace personal kits lost by our players. We were also able to replace vital equipment and safety gear to rebuild our own team kits as well as a new pitching machine to facilitate training.”

Non-profit organisation, South Lismore Celtics Football Club, was another sporting club devastated by floods. Their clubhouse was flooded up to the second level, something which has never occurred before, and resulted in the loss of many essential items for the immediate and wider South Lismore soccer community. Other parts of the clubhouse were used as a refuge by many locals to escape the rising flood waters.

The club encourages players from various socioeconomic backgrounds, age groups, and abilities, within the wider Lismore community to come together in the spirit of sport. Therefore, offering a safe space for the community to come together is highly important to the club.

Louise McKenzie, Treasurer, from the football club said: “Soccer has been an escape for many of our members in the past two years during the ongoing pandemic and even before this in their daily lives. Community is at the heart of what we do, so it was important for us to lead the recovery in our area and hopefully be a pillar of strength for members during this very tough time.

“We are so very grateful to CommBank for their generous grant. The funding has helped us replace training equipment and game uniforms, and fixed the sporting field lights which were all damaged in the flood. With the Clubhouse restored, it means that our members can have some normality back in their lives. Ultimately, it has brought the community closer together."

The Lismore and Northern Rivers communities are still recovering.

Further information about CommBank’s Flood Relief work can be found at the website: www.commbank.com.au/floodrelief