It's a fair way off but we're hearing there's already strong resistance among our local surf lifesaving fraternity to attending next year's national championships in Perth.
The titles are to be held from April 2-12, but the WA government's hardline stance over Covid border restrictions has many eastern starters reluctant to commit.
And who could blame them?
The cost of hauling equipment and personnel to the west, along with accommodation, is prohibitive enough in normal times, let alone during a global pandemic.
As one veteran club clubbie told Inside Back: "The way the government is talking over there, the borders might not open for years. Why would you risk booking everything only to be turned away? I don't know too many people from NSW who will commit in the current circumstances."
The WA government stuck its chest out when it won hosting rights, boldly boasting the event would tip $15 million into the local economy. That figure will be severely dented if eastern state clubs boycott it en masse.
Mourning a champion
It says a lot about the Jenkins family that even in great tragedy they continue to make a difference.
Joe Jenkins was an acclaimed surf lifesaving champion who spent a large chunk of his childhood representing North Steyne SLSC and giving back through up to 50 hours a season on volunteer patrol duties.
Tragically, Joe lost his life when he was struck by a car in a hit and run incident in rural New Zealand last month. The former St Augustine's College student was attending an adventure camp and was making his way back to base late at night when the accident occurred. He was just 20. Local police are still searching for the driver of the vehicle.
In lieu of flowers and gift baskets, the Jenkins family has instead asked for donations to be made to North Steyne SLSC. The money will be used to fund a range of equipment vital to the day-to-day operations at the club.
You can donate at checkout.square.site/buy/WVLQOW45NVPRUQL3T575NCPJ.
Marlins' Arab connection
Qatar's not normally known as a rugby union hotbed, but the Manly Marlins have received an application from the Arab state as the local club's search for a new head coach continues.
The Manly selection committee is sifting through at least 30 resumes in all, with interest from New Zealand, Hong Kong, the UK, Australia as well as our Qatari hopeful. There's also been a strong response from well-known coaches in the Shute Shield fraternity following Matt McGoldrick's decision to stand down from the post.
Marlins president Cameron Douglas was giving little away when contacted by Inside Back, but hopes to have a decision within the next couple of weeks.
"The response has been overwhelming but we won't be rushing things," he told us. "We are mindful about getting it right so if the process takes a little longer, so be it."
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content: