A new type of stadium experience: Suns use home base to help community

It wasn't how Peter Wright imagined he would be pulling up to the car park at Metricon Stadium on a sunny afternoon in autumn.

The rangy and athletic 6-foot-8 big man would normally be arriving at the Suns' home ground to prepare to battle for four points.

But like just about every league around the world, the AFL has been halted due to the ongoing threat to public safety posed by COVID-19, meaning players, administrators and staff are all left with ample time on their hands as they anxiously await news about if and when the 2020 season will continue.

And between home weights sessions and bike rides while trying to stay fit, Wright -- along with teammates Touk Miller and Lachie Weller -- volunteered their time to go back to their place of work to help deliver meals to those most vulnerable to the virus.

The Suns' star said while bizarre, it was "definitely" humbling to turn up to his workplace with an eye on a bigger picture.

"It's a very different world to what it was a couple of months ago," Wright told ESPN. "It's not what I was entertaining doing [with my days during the footy season], delivering some meals around town, but I guess you have to adapt and make the best of any situation.

"Metricon Stadium is being used as a distribution centre. I think it's primarily for meals, there's a lot of empty space so it's an obvious choice. People can also order the meals online and come and pick them up without contact."

Wright and Miller -- normally a handy one-two combo around the stoppages -- were instead paired up to deliver meals to isolated elderly Suns members, some of whom hadn't spoken in person with other people for weeks.

"A couple of the boys and I turned up to the club and loaded up the cars with a few meals for some people who are having a hard time. We were given some addresses, protective gear and protocols and it was just delivering meals to a few of our elderly members, who are obviously at a greater risk [of contracting the coronavirus]," Wright said.

"So we just drove out to their houses from the stadium, and left meals on their front step and had a few nice conversations with them about what they've been up to in isolation.

"I think they were pretty excited, I mean we rocked up in full Suns gear, so it was just nice for them and us to have a conversation with someone new. As I said, everyone knows the elderly are more at risk, and they wouldn't have left the house at all."

Aside from being able to give back to the Gold Coast community, Wright saw the opportunity to get out of the house and to something different to his everyday life. He told ESPN the club had emphasised staying sharp mentally as well as physically during the time off.

"[Getting out of the house] was one of the drawcards, for sure," he said. "I saw it as an opportunity - I thought it would be great to get out and help a few of our members along the way, so it ticked a few boxes - sometimes you can go a bit crazy just being at home all the time, so seeing some new faces was nice."

The big man added that many of the club's younger players had turned to education, with Wright balancing footy with a construction management degree.

"Something the club has spoken to us about a lot is just making sure we're keeping our minds occupied - trying to find way to occupy yourself and grow," he said.

"Things like uni - some boys have taken up an extra subject, and something I'm mindful of is trying to develop in some way every day and not get bored."