There is concern among the sporting community that not all of the Wimmera's football-netball clubs are going to survive the COVID-19 pandemic.
More than half of respondents to a Mail-Times survey about the future of community sport feared some clubs were staring down an unfortunate demise.
The sobering view comes as football-netball clubs battle with losing traditional sources of revenue.
Bar sales, fundraisers , and of course the seasons themselves, were all derailed by the coronavirus.
Many respondents believed the subsequent lack of money and a difficulty obtaining sponsorship would be fatal blows for clubs.
"We are at the point in time where playing football is a financial base thing. In an unstable financial place, clubs won't be able to generate the funds needed to run a club," one said.
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Another respondent was confident there was light at the end of the tunnel for some, but lamented that football had changed.
"Those who have a good club environment will (survive), those that rely on paying players will not," they said.
"Football is no longer a game; it's a second form of income for some people. So the volunteers who make it happen, why should they work hard so some kid can buy a jetski?"
More than 65 per cent of respondents expected fewer people to play sport next year.
"It will be hard to attract juniors back to the clubs and sport. I think there will also be a number of people over 30 who don't return due to the Sunday morning 'aches' football and netball create," one person said.
Another believed that a potential exodus of older players could be a fresh start for community sport.
"Some people are discovering new hobbies or life outside of sport. Convincing them to return may be a challenge. But it might actually encourage a change in the age demographic with younger people playing again," they said.
Despite lingering doubts, and the threat of the virus never truly dissipating, an overwhelming majority was confident sport would return.
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Nearly 90 per cent of people believed we should play community sport next year, and 80 per cent thought senior football and netball would go ahead in 2021.
Though, nearly 80 per cent of people conceded that community sport would not be 'normal'.
Some offered their thoughts as to what a 'COVID-normal' football-netball season may look like.
"(There will be) limited rounds, shorter games. Perhaps even a stop-start season, pausing due to medical or COVID-19 needs," one said.
"Hopefully it just goes back to normal. I think the way we look at health and safety of people will be changed and hopefully that's it," another believed.
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Others weren't quite as confident.
"(The season) will not happen. With no vaccine a lot of close contact sports will not occur. Even non contact sports will not happen," one person said.
One message carried through all the responses: it was vital sport returned.
"(Sport) will take a while to get back to near where it was before COVID," one person summarised. "However, it is important that we strive towards a return as it is very important to communities and mental welfare."
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