CORONAVIRUS - CLUB STATEMENT (19/3/20)
With the Government advice that everybody implements social-distancing the Executive Committee have agreed that the start of the 2020 season will be postponed.
The Working Parties due to start next week, the Quiz Night on 4th April and the Pre-Season Get-Together on 5th April are cancelled.
The situation will be monitored continually but as an aspiration we hope to open on Saturday 4th July – earlier if possible and hopefully not later.
The closure will have severe financial ramifications for the Club – please bear with us until the Executive Committee can meet to discuss. Fortunately we are better placed than many clubs.
Bowls England have this morning announced the cancellation of National Championships and Competitions (see below).
Presumably KCBA will follow with cancellation of County Competitions (see below) – as of this morning the Mlllennium League & Trophy are cancelled and doubtless the Sevenoaks & West Kent Leagues will follow.
We appreciate this is not news that members want to hear but the welfare of our members is paramount.
Please keep in touch through Facebook and email and most importantly stay well.
Bowls England has announced the cancellation of all its domestic events ahead of the 2020 lawn bowls season in response to the latest Government advice and growing concerns from bowlers about how the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak will impact lawn bowls.
The decision, which was reached at an Emergency Meeting of Board members and key staff, held on Tuesday 17th March, covers all National Championships, National Competitions and other domestic events. Discussions are ongoing with the British Isles Bowls Council and British Isles Women’s Bowls Council with regard to British Isles events this year.
Bowls England will be providing support and advice to clubs and county associations over the coming weeks to ensure the future of the sport – including plans for a proposed ‘Festival of Bowls’ later in the season.
Tony Allcock OBE, Bowls England Chief Executive, said: “Every organisation is currently coming to terms with a global situation that is unprecedented, to which Bowls England is sadly not immune. The National Finals are the conclusion of a long process that starts each year in May, therefore it is not possible for the qualification process to be completed in time throughout our 35 county associations.
“However, bowlers are known to be resilient and have proven in the past that they join together and support each other in the time of need. Now, more than ever, is the time for us all to work together to ensure that our clubs and bowling greens are available when it is deemed safe to resume our much-loved sport. So we would urge our members to commit to their clubs, keep an eye out for their fellow members who may feel isolated and be ready to get back on the greens when Government guidance allows.
“Finally, I wish to thank my staff team for their support at this time in managing this ever-changing situation. We have been inundated with enquiries from our clubs and county associations, and we will ensure that each and every enquiry is responded to in the coming days. However, our priority in the next two days will be ensuring that our staff are able to work from home effectively from next Monday”
The Board agreed that one of the most important areas of work for Bowls England over the coming weeks will be club support. Bowls England plans to provide advice and support on subjects including:
a. Coronavirus Guidance
b. Minimum amount of Greens Maintenance required so greens are playable when we resume bowling
c. Funding (including Club Loans and encouraging bowlers to support their clubs financially by continuing to pay their annual subscriptions – so clubs will still be there for them when we resume bowling)
e. Looking after each other (including encouraging members to keep an eye out for each other, especially fellow bowlers who may live on their own)
f. Staying Fit (including producing a ‘Bowlers’ Workout’ in order to keep members active during isolation or working from home)
Other key decisions taken by the Board were:
1. Bowls England office to close with effect from Friday 20th March and all staff (including Coach Bowls employees) to work from home with effect from Monday 23rd March – support for Clubs and County Associations will continue as normal.
2. Work on the new Bowls England Head Office is put ‘on hold’ until further notice
3. In support of Clubs at this difficult time, Bowls England will refund the Affiliation Fees paid for 2020 by each playing member. Bowls England will arrange refunds to the county associations, who are mandated to ensure that all monies are then paid to their Member Clubs.4. Board to meet regularly via Skype/Conference Call to monitor the ever-changing situation, review the impact on bowls and plan accordingly - regular updates will be issued.
KENT COUNTY BOWLING ASSOCIATION PLANS FOR 2020 SEASON IN RESPONSE TO CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK
Further to the announcement sent out by Bowls England.
A discussion/electronic meeting of the Unified Management Committee took place today to decide the actions we now need to implement to ensure the safety of our members under our duty of care. We would refer you to the response by Bowls England and agree with the measures they are taking.
We have made the following decisions:
1. All County matches are cancelled for the 2020 season. This decision has been made due to the amount of work involved by clubs to host these events; we cannot wait until the last minute as this would be unfair on both clubs and the players involved.
2. All County face to face meetings are postponed until further notice, we intend to use the technology available to remain in touch and keep things running as best we can.
3. All Executive Officers Presidents, Senior Vice, and Junior Vice Presidents elected for 2020 will, depending on their willingness and ability to do so, continue in office for 2021.
4. All County Competitions are cancelled as these are the preliminary rounds of the National Competition/Championships.
5. The return of all competition entry fees will be a heavy financial burden as the cost to our business account will incur charges both for payments made by Bacs and cheques. We, therefore, propose that this money will be held as payment for the 2021 competitions and only be repaid on request less the cost of bank charges. It should be noted that the cost of entries for 2021 will increase to £3.00 per player, this increase will not be incurred by those with money held from this year.
6. Bowls England are returning all affiliation fees, these will be held and paid to Bowls England at the end of this year for next years affiliation, clubs will not have to pay Bowls England
affiliation fees for 2021.
7. Bowlers who in 2019 qualified for consideration for the award of a County badge will receive these by post in the near future. This is an action taken due to the exceptional circumstances and will not set a precedent. Players who qualified and wish to receive their badge in a customary way, at their first game for the County, may do so, please notify us as soon as possible if this is your wish.
We have received a number of inquiries as to whether or not clubs should open as usual in April, bearing in mind we all have a duty of care, rolling up or practicing on an outdoor green may not pose the same risks providing the green isn’t crowded and a reasonable space is kept from others, it really should be reasonably safe especially for those deemed at low risk from the Covid 19 virus, those at higher risk should be able to make their own decisions.
We are all going to be seriously affected by this crisis, we are bowlers we can get through this, with common sense, a willingness help one another, and the spirit of camaraderie that makes our sport stand out from others we will prevail.
We ask you all to take the necessary precautions to remain safe, remember many of our members are unfortunately in the high-risk category, a phone call, an email, or a skype chat to keep them in contact will go a long way to helping them get through this especially to those that live alone.
I look forward to seeing you all once again in the not too distant future, meanwhile, we will try to keep you all updated with any developments that may affect us.
Rodney ClarkK.C.B.A. General Secretary