After years of professional sports becoming increasingly detached from the communities they came from, Craig Foster hopes adversity can bring the two together.

Amid the coronavirus crisis, sport at all levels has been parked indefinitely and through the 'Play for Lives' initiative, the former Socceroos captain is urging people to spend hours they would normally dedicate to their team helping those who need it.

That includes the professionals.

"Having been idle now for almost a month, (sport's attitude) is turned from initial shock and a feeling of fear and crisis to now increasingly questioning 'what is our role? What should sport be doing now?" Foster told AAP.

"And some in sport have felt that their role is to try to continue to play on or to play as quickly as possible but a growing number of us feel that actually the real responsibility of sport now is to help and to give." works to connect those in sport - both local and professional - with charities who need a hand.

The charity sector is in extra need of support as a large number of usual volunteers are over 65, and considered high-risk in the COVID-19 pandemic, while the crisis has exacerbated the issues many vulnerable communities already faced.

And athletes are the perfect group to step up.

"Those of us in community sport who had attributed at least 5-8 hours per week to our amateur team or sport are now really motivated to apportion that time commitment across to vulnerable communities who are in circumstances far worse than ourselves," Foster said.

"I think it's also almost an historic opportunity for sport to recalibrate our relationship with all of society and to better understand vulnerable communities who were perhaps invisible to professional athletes and professional sport."

Foster has been playing a leading role at Addison Road Community Organisation in Marrickville, where volunteers pack hampers of food to be delivered to those in need.

Former Sydney Swans Kieren Jack and Nick Smith join him on a near-daily basis, while current and former footballers - from former Socceroos skipper Alex Tobin to Sydney FC's Ally Green - have also put their hands up.

"What we're finding is professional athletes and international athletes are very much enjoying the opportunity to take a much more outward focus and to learn about different vulnerable communities and to actually embed themselves," Foster said.