posted on April 25, 2021 17:40
Chair’s Report 2020-21
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our 2020-21 indoor season (September to April) was severely disrupted:
- At all times we followed the COVID guidance provided by government, Volleyball England and venues.
- We played in one junior competition in September, after which all national, regional and county competitions for adults and juniors were cancelled.
- Under COVID safety protocols we held three adult training sessions in September, followed by three adult 3v3 sessions in ‘bubbles of six’ in October, after which all adult volleyball was suspended during successive national lockdowns and tiered restrictions.
- In September, October and December (between full lockdowns) we held 12 junior sessions. We were often the only junior volleyball club operating in Wiltshire, which led to unprecedented demand (it was an important safety valve for many families) and a waiting list to join our club. I am especially grateful to Julie, Debbie and Pablo for helping me keep the juniors running under strict COVID safety protocols.
- Our club venue, Lime Kiln LC, operated reduced opening hours from October, forcing us to move from our traditional Sunday evening times to Sunday mornings. On behalf of our club I have continually thanked the manager and his staff – they were all furloughed during lockdowns, and made huge efforts to make ‘COVID-safe’ volleyball possible every time restrictions eased.
- I also thank our Treasurer, Donna, for all the extra work caused by the stop/start COVID disruption.
While some adult players chose not to participate for safety reasons, and some were not available on Sunday mornings, it seems that most of our adult members have remained loyal to the club and hope to play again when it’s allowed. Meanwhile our junior section has grown, thanks to our proactive efforts to keep playing.
Planning for summer 2021
As the third national lockdown eases, our members are eager to play and we’re planning for an active summer:
- We will (exceptionally) run indoor junior sessions from mid-April until the end of June.
- Subject to government confirmation, we will (exceptionally) run indoor adult sessions from mid-May until the end of June.
- We will run outdoor adult sessions (including older/able juniors) from mid-April until the end of June.
- We have entered 5 teams in the outdoor Wiltshire 4s league, which will run mid-April to mid-June.
- Some outdoor summer tournaments will go ahead, including beach events and the Whitefield Bristol grass event.
Planning for season 2021/22
We hope that a near-normal indoor schedule will resume from September, though ongoing COVID safety precautions and restrictions may apply and some competition formats may change.
As discussed at our 2020 AGM, we hope to expand our club offer to cater for wider demand:
- Women’s competitive teams and training (SW League and Wiltshire League).
- Men’s and Mixed competitive teams and training (Wiltshire League).
- Junior development leading to regional festivals, competitions and representative squads.
- Adult beginners and individual skills development.
- Adult casual play (for fun, with no organised training element).
Our plans depend on the continuing financial viability and availability of our host and partner, Lime Kiln Leisure Centre, with whom we will negotiate new deals over the summer.
Post-pandemic, it’s likely that Lime Kiln LC will close early on Sundays on a permanent basis. We may have to consider alternative times for our Sunday evening club sessions. Sunday mornings have been popular with many (especially juniors) but are difficult for some of our members (especially church-goers) and will clash with national and regional competitions. We would like to hear our members’ views on club timings.
At our 2020 AGM (October 2020) we resolved to improve our club website, since when Phil, Kaelen and Richard (our web host and administrator) have been discussing functionality and options.
We would like the following functionality from our club website:
Advertising our presence (open access)
Club news and information (open access – unless some of this should go in a restricted access member zone?)
- News updates
- Playing schedule (training, matches)
- Photo gallery
- Club documents
- Club history
- Roll of honour (notable team and individual achievements, by year)
- Links and feeds: Volleyball England, SWVA, WVA, Whitefield Tournament, …
- Members forum for internal club activities and chat?
Shop (ideal future functionality)
- Membership payments
- Buy club playing uniform
Options for achieving this functionality include:
- Continue with our current web domain and improve the content. This can meet all our needs, except for a shop function is not viable due to overhead and transaction costs. Cost £50 pa for server rental.
- Create a new web domain and site from scratch. This can meet all our needs, except a shop function is not viable due to overhead and transaction costs. Little cost, but high effort.
- Use an out-sourced sports club website provider, such as www.Pitchero.com . This can provide a shop function plus player availability and selection for matches. Pitchero costs £0 for basic functionality (less flexible than our current website) or £30 or £90 per month plus transaction fee for enhanced functions including shop.
We would like to hear members’ views before implementing one of these options.