CORONA VIRUS (COVID-19)
This page will be used to disseminate information and updates on the Club's response to the Corona virus pandemic, together with information the governing bodies of our sport, which we feel may be useful to members.
The Committee met on the evening of 18 March and decided to close the Club with immediate effect and until at least 30 April 2020. Due to lockdown the closure will remain in place until further notice.
Following the relaxation of lockdown on 13 May 2020, see below the Bowls England guidance for clubs who wish to reopen their green.
The Club has decided to take advantage of this and the further announcement for 03 June and will be reopening for limited roll-up bowling from Monday 15 June. Full details of the arrangements will be published here by Friday 05 June.
In early August Bowls England issued new guidelines for clubs which reflect the continuing relaxation in lockdown restrictions (see the downloadable documents below). We could now open the bar and other facilities but have decided to continue with our present arrangements.
Club Statement on Possible Reopening and Finances to all members, 14 May 2020
You will all have seen or heard the latest Govt announcements relaxing the rules on outdoor sporting facilities, including bowling greens, which may allow them to open on a limited basis. However, until we receive clear and detailed guidance from Bowls England, who are currently in discussions with the relevant Govt department (see below for detailed statement) the Club must remain closed, so please do not come to the Club, unless you have been asked to do so for essential maintenance. The actual decision to reopen and if so, when, will be made at Club level, taking into account the advice from BE and the views of members. None of this can happen immediately: it will take a while to get the green ready for play and it’s likely that there will be strict conditions for the Club to follow, which will also take time to put in place. Please let us know what you think about re-opening: do you think it is too soon? Are you worried about coming to the Club and why? If we know your concerns, we may be able to do something about them. You can call or e-mail me or leave a comment on the Facebook page, as this message will also appear there.
Some really good news on the financial front that will help the Club keep going through these difficult times: we have received a grant of £10,000 through the Government’s Retail, Hospital and Leisure Scheme. We had made an application after learning of the Scheme from Bowls England, but the Council, who administer it, were already in the process of allocating the money automatically. We have also applied for a further grant of £3,000 from Sport England’s Community Emergency Fund to cover running costs for 3 months; we don’t yet know if this has been successful, but Bowls England report that many bowling clubs have already benefited from the Fund. The Council have also now paid out the grant for installing the disabled toilet. Together with your very generous contribution by paying subscriptions, this means that we should be able to survive financially through the season, despite not having any other income from bar etc.
Work on the green continues with mowing twice a week and keeping on top of the weeds in the ditch and on the paths: all of this means that we can get the green ready for play within a short time, when or if we have permission to do so. As you may have seen on the club Facebook page it certainly looks good.
HOLDING STATEMENT ON REOPENING OF BOWLING GREENS
ISSUED BY BOWLS ENGLAND CHAIR DAVID TUCKER
The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced on Sunday night that lockdown restrictions would be eased in relation to physical activity and that some outdoor areas, including bowling greens, would be allowed to reopen from Wednesday 13th May.
This announcement, and the subsequent release of more detailed guidance yesterday, has led to a fresh influx of enquiries from Clubs, County Associations and individual members regarding what this will mean for our sport.
Bowls England, and many other national sporting bodies, are still digesting the various documents and awaiting direction from the Government on a range of issues that is expected to include, but not be limited to, the use of toilets, changing rooms and other facilities. As soon as this information is available, we will provide this to you at the earliest opportunity.
Whilst our aim is to expedite the safe resumption of our sport, I am sure you will understand that this is a complex situation and requires due consideration. We are currently developing some bowls specific guidance, which will assist with many of the practical issues that will need to be considered by Clubs and players. Additionally, a number of Clubs have already shared with us some of their own ideas for restarting locally, and we shall seek to incorporate these within the guidance document. This will be shared in the coming days. We will also be analysing the response to our recent Club Survey in order to determine the priorities for our members over the coming months.
In the meantime, we would recommend you digest the guidance from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) detailed below. Many Clubs may feel that they have taken all the necessary steps in order to facilitate their Club reopening, whereas others may wish to wait. Similarly, whilst many players are clearly keen to get back on the green, others may choose not to do so immediately. It will be for individuals and Clubs to determine when they are ready to enjoy our sport once more, and we hope that guidance we will be issuing will support you do to this safely.
DCMS – Key Messages:
1. We are increasing people’s access to local, outdoor physical activity for the purpose of wellbeing
2. People will only be able to use these facilities:
a. By themselves OR
b. With people from their own household OR
c. with one other person from outside their household (as long as they stay two metres apart)
3. You can only exercise in groups of no more than two, unless you are exclusively with members of your household. This means that you cannot have five people from one household plus one person from outside the household playing sport together. You can have two people, from two different households, as long as they are staying two metres apart.
4. It is for individual Clubs and organisations to develop their own guidance on reopening, to best fit their own situation, in line with the Government's advice.
DCMS – Q and A:
What has been announced?
The Government has announced that people can go outside more than once a day for exercise as long as they are following social distancing guidelines, alone, with members of their household, or with one person from outside of their household. You must still only exercise in groups of no more than two people, unless you are exercising with your household. Any facilities associated with outdoor sports and physical activities are permitted to reopen from Wednesday 13th May 2020 if those responsible for them feel ready to do so and if they can do so safely, and in line with this and related public health guidance. Outdoor gyms, playgrounds, or outdoor swimming pools will remain closed.
What can I do?
All outdoor sports and physical activities are permitted, without time limit, with the exception of swimming in an open-air swimming pool. All must be done alone with members of your household or, providing you are following social distancing guidelines, with one person from outside your household.
What sort of facilities are reopening?
Any facilities associated with outdoor sports and physical activities are permitted to reopen, including outdoor bowling greens.
When will these open?
Facilities will be allowed to open from Wednesday 13th May. Each venue, including council-owned sports facilities, must make their own decision about when their facilities are ready. The Government will be publishing high level guidance for sports and venues to help them think about preparations shortly. [Bowls England will be issuing a bowls specific guidance document].
Can I share equipment?
Yes, but you should enforce strong hygiene measures. This might be cleaning it rigorously in line with wider guidance on hygiene, for example by using antibacterial spray and washing hands thoroughly before and after use.
CORONA VIRUS OUTBREAK: CLUB STATEMENT
1. I regret to inform members that at an emergency meeting on Wednesday 18 March the General Committee reluctantly decided that the Club should be closed with immediate effect. We would respectfully ask members not to use the club and its facilities until further notice
2. All planned activities at the Club have been cancelled until at least 30 April, which means that:
- Short Mat competitions are suspended but we will try to complete these, if possible, in September, before the new competitions begin. There will be no more roll-up sessions on Monday or Wednesday.
- The coffee morning on Saturday 4 April will not take place.
- We will not be holding the Opening of the Green on Saturday 11 April.
- The Open Day on Sunday 26 April has been postponed: a new date will be set when we know we can re-open.
- All home and away fixtures are cancelled: we will be contacting other clubs to inform them. We will keep fixtures beyond 30 April under review and make a decision on further cancellations, in consultation with other clubs, when it becomes clear that restrictions are going to last beyond that date.
The only activity allowed at the Club will be for the upkeep of the building and to do essential maintenance and mowing on the green. It is important that we don’t allow it to deteriorate, so that when restrictions are lifted, we can begin bowling as soon as possible.
3. Closing the Club will impose considerable financial strain on the Club, principally through the loss of bar revenue (already hitting us, as the skittles leagues have already closed down and there will be no short mat games or club night on Fridays). Though we will be making every effort to reduce costs, such as turning the heating down to the minimum, switching off all non-essential equipment and only asking the green contractor to do the minimum necessary work to get the green fit for play, we will still have to pay rent to the Council, business rates and utility bills, insurance etc, which amount to well over a £1000 per month. The Treasurer has contacted the Council to see if they can help with the rent, but we have as yet had no reply.
4. We have some reserves in our bank account but with no income from the bar, raffles etc it will only take a few months for this to run out. Our only current source of income is subscriptions and we would like to thank all who have already paid. We would therefore urge all members, who have not yet done so, to please pay up their subscription to help the club keep going through this very difficult period. All Committee members have agreed to pay their full subs to support the club. We cannot say when we will be able to play again: at best we will have a shortened season but if we run out of money and cannot maintain the green and clubhouse, then you will have no club to come back to.
5. Depending on how much of the season is left when bowling resumes the Committee agreed that we would refund a proportionate amount of the match fee element of subscriptions or apply that amount of credit to next year’s subs. If in the worst case we were to lose the whole season, we will roll the full £50 over to next year, so you would then only pay £85. If you have paid fees to enter competitions, which cannot take place, we would automatically roll these over to next season, with the option of a refund if you would prefer it.
6. Once the green has been declared fit for play, it may be possible for members not in a vulnerable group to use it for roll-ups, as a form of outdoor exercise, but you would have to observe the guidance on keeping a safe distance from others and could not use any clubhouse facilities, apart from the toilets. We will let you know nearer the time if this can be allowed.
Management of Club
7. Clearly the full Committee cannot meet again until the outbreak is over and restrictions are lifted. We have therefore formed a small steering committee of principal officers to manage the Club and make decisions while the crisis continues. This group comprises the President, Treasurer, Secretary and Men’s and Ladies captains (Mike Newman, Dave Simmons, Andy Todd, Dave Hooper and Jill Whistler), two of whom are also trustees of the Club. Please be assured that we will be doing everything we can to keep the club in good shape, so that we can start bowling again, as soon as it is safe to do so.
8. The Steering Group will not meet but coordinate by phone and e-mail and any significant decisions will be communicated to members. We have a website at https://www.hugofox.com/community/cheltenham-whaddon-bowls-club-8689/home and a Facebook page (search for @CheltenhamWhaddonBC), both of which we will use to keep in touch.
9. If you have any questions about this notice or need clarification, send them to the Club e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, which is monitored by the Secretary, or contact a member of the Committee.
On behalf of the General Committee
Hon Secretary, Cheltenham Whaddon Bowling Club
BOWLS ENGLAND & GBA INFORMATION
We have already received important information from Bowls England (BE) and our County Association (GBA) and you can download these documents from the links below. They are also working to provide more assistance and information for clubs and we will publish that here as soon as it is available.
BE has now launched its own YouTube channel as part of its commitment to inform and entertain its members. YouTube will provide Bowls England with a one stop shop for all its multimedia content where you will find the ‘Extra End’ Podcast, ‘Keep Active’ videos and other audio-visual content. To receive notification when any new content is uploaded, simply subscribe to the Bowls England channel (see link below).
News items from Bowls England
Subscribe to the Bowls England YouTube channel
Home Workouts for Bowlers (produced specifically for bowlers by Bowls England)