To support clubs through this uncertain period, the Hub team has pulled together key resources and examples of best practice in areas such as finance, communications, and facility hire, which can be explored below.
While we are working hard to tackle emerging challenges, we do not have solutions to all the problems being experienced. If there is an issue not addressed below and you need some support, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to overcome it with you.
Undoubtedly one of the biggest areas of concern for clubs at this time. With costs such as venue hire continuing yet membership fees being frozen, we understand the dire financial situation some clubs are facing. It is worth acknowledging here that the insurance clubs receive by affiliating to Volleyball England does not cover losses caused by the coronavirus.
So, what options are available to help plug or reduce the size of this gap?
Sport England: A package of up to £195 million has been announced to help Sport England partners, clubs, and community organisations cope with the short and long-term impact of the pandemic. The two areas of this fund that are likely to be most relevant to clubs are the following:
- Community Emergency Fund (£20 million): for clubs and community organisations – including those not currently supported by Sport England – to bid for grants between £300 and £10,000 if they are experiencing short-term financial difficulty as a result of the coronavirus. Sport England used the following to illustrate who can apply: “A specific example might be a grant to support a local boxing club pay costs for their facility when no activity is taking place”.
- Sector stimulation (£55 million): To support and stimulate the sport and physical activity sector during this period of restrictions, fund new and innovative ways to keep people active and – when the period of restrictions is over – to help organisations get back to business and adjust to a different environment. Details on this fund are set to be released in the coming weeks.
If you have received Sport England funding and were working on delivering projects or events prior to the coronavirus pandemic, it is worth noting that from 17th March for a period of 3 months, Sport England has introduced significant flexibility to some conditions attached to that support. For more information, please discuss this with your point of contact at Sport England, contact email@example.com or 03458 508 508.
Government support: New funds as well as several business support measures have been announced by the government. The Sport and Recreation Alliance has compiled a great overview of these changes on its website: www.sportandrecreation.org.uk/news/politics/covid-19-business-support-measures-faqs
Charities Aid Foundation: A fund has been set up to help smaller charitable organisations with grants of up to £10,000. This fund is limited to organisations which had an income of £1 million or less in their last financial year and are either: UK registered charities; registered with Companies House or the Public Mutuals Register as a charitable or not-for-profit entity; or are unregistered entities and social enterprises.
Ask members to continue to pay their fees: It is important to recognise that some members will not be in a position to but, if you approach them in an open and honest way, you may find some will be happy to continue to pay to help with club finances. An alternative way of approaching this could be to start a fundraising page on a platform such as JustGiving. On that site, Chipping Norton Rugby Club has raised £1,325 while supporters have donated £2,185 to Southampton Gymnastics Club in recent weeks.
Need some further funding guidance? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
HEALTH AND WELLBEING
Echoing the rallying call of Tim Hollingsworth, CEO of Sport England, exercise is now more important than ever before and clubs can play a vital role in keeping people active.
As a starting point, on our website we’ve started to compile a helpful list of volleyball-inspired drills, workouts and exercises that you can share. This includes links to a series of free-to-access videos from ‘The Art of Coaching Volleyball’ – a leading online resource.
If you give them a try or perhaps put together your own routines, it would be great if you can share them with the community by tagging @VBallEngland and using the hashtag #StayInWorkOut or #digginginthegarden on Twitter. Alternatively, please email our communications team: email@example.com
Staying at home for a prolonged period, perhaps in isolation, may have an impact on the mental health of your club members, particularly those from another country who might have less family and friends around them. As well as encouraging them to exercise, which has a big impact on how we feel, staying connected by reaching out and talking to members can help.
On 16th March, Volleyball England made the difficult decision to cancel all camps, competitions, and courses until 20th May. On 31st March, this period of cancelled activity was extended to the end of June.
As a result of this decision, the 19/20 season of the National Volleyball League was left with many games left unplayed while competitions such as the Sitting Grand Prix were not completed. Volleyball England’s Competitions Working Group is aiming to make a fair and transparent decision on how these competitions will be concluded by the end of April.
The methodology for this decision can be applied to regional and local leagues but it will not be mandated.
The million-dollar question as to when competitions will return is difficult to answer. Ultimately this will come down to when the government allows it.
With no matches or training, it can be difficult to know what to share with members on websites, newsletters, and social media. Nevertheless, during this extended period of inactivity, it is important to keep those communications going to avoid members becoming disengaged.
Some clubs have recorded videos of creative home workouts or challenges while others have used this period of isolation to reflect on memories or learn from others. In the place of training, why not organise a team meeting over video chat to see how everyone is getting on?
If you’re in need of some inspiration, head to the Volleyball England social media channels or website or email the communications team: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sports clubs are also influential in their communities, so please encourage people to stay safe and to follow government guidelines too.
A number of clubs have asked us for advice on breaking free from contracts with their facility providers. Our advice would be to talk to your venue, see if there’s something mentioned in your contract and, if there isn’t, honestly broach the subject with them. Your venue is essential for your club’s sustainability so we wouldn’t advise you to break ties.
Sport England is also working with local authorities and the organisations who run their leisure facilities and have been supporting them to access the government support which is available.
TRAINING AND QUALIFICATIONS
We’re currently working with CIMSPA (Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity) on developing digital versions of the referee and coach courses.
If you’re able to move some club activity online – for example training sessions/workouts – the NSPCC’s Child Protection Unit has issued some useful advice for you to read. You might already have them in place, but it’s worth revisiting and potentially revising or reminding members about how they use social media, codes of conduct, parental consent and other processes.
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