IN the grand pecking order of troubles, the travails of sport in the midst of Covid will no doubt appear pretty low down.

With a UK death toll of more than 108,000, everyone’s lives have been touched by tragic loss.

And then there are job losses, pay cuts and business closures to factor in.

But the impact of the pandemic on sport is real and damaging.

At professional level, clubs have been having to juggle the budgets without fans and the normal sponsorship.

And for the fans it is hard missing out on being part of something that has been their weekly routine for, in some cases, decades.

But amateur sport is also something that often gets overlooked in all of this.

Grassroots sport is the glue that binds our communities together, particularly in working class towns like St Helens,Widnes and Leigh.

This pandemic will be tough on the committees juggling the finances with closed club houses, but it will be tougher on the players.

Sport is something that has had a beneficial impact on the mental and physical health of so many players in town.

No amount of Joe Wicks workouts and walks around the block can ever replicate the team spirit and camaraderie that comes with competing and collaborating with another, 10, 12 or 14 colleagues.

It is been such a long time since the amateur rugby league players actually had a game that one of the biggest worries must surely be getting all of those players back on board.

Sport involves sacrifice and a juggle with family and work commitments - and the eventual return will mean going back to a different routine.

I hope I am wrong and that there’ll be a rush of enthusiasm to make up for lost time, but we can’t underestimate how difficult it will be for some of the older players to get used to taking the knocks again.

To that end, there will need to be a real strategy to retain and attract players because without those, clubs are simply a name and bag of jerseys.