Club Together #3 - COVID Guidance Update
Bowls England News
Club Together #3 - COVID Guidance Update
Bowls England update - July 21
CIRCULATION: COUNTY ADMINISTRATORS
I hope this finds you well. I just wanted to send a note to update you on a few areas.
Please can I start by thanking you all for your efforts to support the affiliation process for this year. We now have over 5000 club records and our email communications are being well received with over 70% open rates (at England Hockey this number was rarely over 40%). We hope we are now into the flow of counties receiving information ahead of clubs so that you are ‘in the know’, and we can present a joined up service. In terms of the financial part of affiliation, the data showed we have lost almost 13000 affiliated bowlers since 2019, a 13% decline. We have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand this is more positive than we had forecast, and we believe the interventions made over the last 18 months have mitigated the Covid damage. On the other hand, it is a big drop and Covid has accelerated what has been a steady decline in playing numbers over a generation. We plan for this to be a nadir, and we hope the Bowls’ Big Weekend has already had a positive impact and that there will be people who have started playing at their clubs after we collected fees. I attach the outcome in detail. The regional differences are interesting, and we would be happy to hear from any of you who have a view on the numbers.
Bowls’ Big Weekend
Thanks for the support you gave to the event, which was well received. We will share a full review in due course but a few headline figures –
Inter-County Events 2021
We have received a few enquiries from county representatives regarding arrangements for the Middleton Cup and Johns Trophy in light of the continued Covid restrictions. These events should be organised in accordance with our Covid-19 Step 3 Guidance. We would recommend that the two participating counties confirm arrangements directly with the host club and adopt a common sense approach to use of the club’s facilities, particularly with regard to the use of changing rooms and catering/refreshments. Should any participating counties wish to play in greys (or other bowls attire) in order to avoid the need to change on arrival, then we would support this at this time so long as all members of the same county side wear the same. There is no need to notify us should you wish to play in alternative colours.
Regional Finals 2021
The Regional Finals for all inter-county events will be held as originally planned on Sunday 18th July. If not done already, we shall contact all qualifiers with information relevant to their venue.
National Finals 2021
We appreciate the time it has taken to advise people of the plan for this year’s event at Victoria Park. With the ever-changing Covid situation, coupled with our desire to take this event on from a spectator experience perspective, it has taken more time that we anticipated. We are working through the last details with Warwick District Council and other stakeholders, and will communicate all the requisite event information to you very soon. We are planning to invite county administrators as VIPs to the event and would like to share our plans for the 2021/22 Commonwealth Games year with you all. For those of you who are also FEB members, a separate communication will be sent and we are delighted the FEB will be a key part of this year’s event.
Following the feedback from the Covid 19-driven changes made this year, we committed to undertake consultation about people’s experience. Alistair is in the process of developing a survey and we hope you will raise awareness of it so we can get as much feedback as possible. He will bounce the questions off a few counties to help get this right. If we are able to turn this around, we would ideally like to have the 2022 programme out around the end of this year’s National Finals.
National Finals 2022
We appreciate that players, clubs and counties are keen to formulate plans for 2022. We are awaiting an update from Warwick District Council and Birmingham 2022 regarding the availability of Victoria Park due to the Commonwealth Games being staged there in August, after which we shall provide a full update on dates and venues for our national and international events.
Disciplinary Working Party
You will have seen the Board’s commitment to review the Disciplinary Regulations and we would absolutely welcome counties’ feedback on the existing regulations, and your experience of implementing them. Once we have the group assembled, we will provide a mechanism for this to happen. Of course, feel free to let us know if you would like to be part of the review group. As with the Governance Working Party, it would be highly beneficial to have at least one representative from the counties.
BE Staff Team
We have now recruited all positions in our new structure and it’s been fantastic to see some fresh faces come into the business. 13 months in, I’m almost one of the oldies! It’s been a little challenging transitioning to the new structure at a time when we have been dealing with Covid contingency plans, and a number of the existing team have really stepped up brilliantly during this phase. We have begun the process of getting back into the office, which will no doubt help matters. We don’t always get things right, but it’s certainly not for want of effort and we appreciate your ongoing support.
I am away next week so you will get an out-of-office if you reply. My better half as booked a week in Topsham, which I am told is lovely! Sure Alistair, Rob or Helen will be able to pick up any queries that have arisen from the above.
Hope this update was helpful. Enjoy the football on Sunday!
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