With the cancellation of the BBA GM on April 4th, there will not be a chance to impart information to you other than by email, so this is hardly a “newsletter” but more a way to keep in touch with you all, so will now become more of a “digest” of news from various sources.
Cheques on their way back
Steve Moore, the BBA Treasurer, and I have been working hard to ensure that we get the monies back to you as soon as possible. This has now been completed and all envelopes have been sent to your home addresses. There will be a slight delay for some clubs, as their cheques were over the £1000 threshold for a single signatory to authorise – these were sent to me, co-signed and sent out again on March 28th.
Steve has included a slip detailing the money – you will notice that you have also got a refund for the Association League and the BE Yearbooks you ordered. If it is possible to play the League, then we’ll come to some arrangement as to how to deal with this – but it was easier to return everything in one go and worry about payment later. I shall keep a small stock of BE yearbooks if anyone wants a copy but will recycle the rest.
Please remember to send an email to me CathyBBA@gmail.com to acknowledge receipt of the cheque.
Advice to clubs
As the Government guidance is continually changing, please make sure that members continue to comply.
The advice from BE hasn’t changed regarding greens maintenance though, so this is a tricky one. Mowing the green could be regarded as “exercise”, just like mowing your lawn at home, but remember that your greenkeeper shouldn’t be on their own, in case of an accident, and maybe a second person could be permitted to oversee at a safe distance?
Bowls England roll out membership register
Bowls England have decided to roll out the membership register and are now seeking your club’s data input.
Jamie Chestney has been appointed by BE to deal with this and the following is his introduction:
“I understand that many of you will be familiar with the outline plans for the new Membership Register and have been consulted on the planned implementation at various events including Regional Meetings and the Counties Meeting.
Our Membership System will be provided by ‘Go Membership’, which is already utilised by Coach Bowls and a number of organisations of similar size to Bowls England.
There are many benefits to the Membership Register, with the long-term objective that Bowls England and County Associations will be able to provide a better service to their members.
Key to its success will be your buy-in.
Bowls England will import all of the clubs’ current members for this season from a completed Excel template.
Bowls England will then work to import the club data. Club and County Administrators will then have access to GoMembership through their own unique login in order to update information and produce relevant reports (subject to their access level).
Video guides will also be produced to assist in using GoMembership.
We appreciate this is extra work at the beginning of the coming season, however, once this initial information has been imported Clubs will then only have to add/remove members as appropriate, as well as having the ability to fully manage their club’s membership through GoMembership.”
I have attached the template in Excel format and ask all of you to complete this for your clubs - there is an Example GoMembership Excel sheet which gives further guidance on the mandatory fields required.
It would be appreciated if you could do this by Friday 1st May 2020 to then give me time to collate all the entries into a BBA submission before the deadline. Please make sure you send me the completed file in Excel format – not in JPEG or PDF – so that I can just “cut and paste” the data straight in.
I have also attached a Frequently Asked Questions document that I hope you will find useful.
Although clubs will probably already have much of the data accessible, I note they are requesting specific D.o.B information – I recall the meeting when this was discussed and the general feeling was to ask for “age ranges” – this is covered under (5) in the Membership FAQs. I can see their point, but some members may be unwilling to comply with this request – if so, I shall take this back to Jamie for further advice.
Message from the Chair of BE
I am writing to you in what is arguably one of the toughest periods this generation has ever faced.
The Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak is a global pandemic that will challenge us all on a business, social and most importantly personal level.
Therefore, may I start by saying that I hope you are keeping safe and well. Now is the time to show our unity as a sport more than ever whilst ensuring that we all strictly follow the latest Government guidelines.
The effect this pandemic has already had cannot be underestimated and the likely consequences are at times difficult to comprehend. Clearly, the sport of bowls is not immune from this global situation.
Already, we have taken the unprecedented step to cancel all of our National Competitions and National Championships for the 2020 season, and of course the World Championships due to be played in Australia in May have been postponed indefinitely. We have also, understandably, been inundated with queries from our clubs who are seeking guidance at this uncertain time.
It is however important that we remain hopeful of brighter times ahead and work together ready for when we are able to return to the green. A key focus of work for the staff team in the coming weeks will be preparing material in support of clubs – more details will be circulated at the appropriate time.
Bowls England has had to adapt, but our aim is to conduct ‘business as usual’. The staff team has been working from home since last Monday, in accordance with the Government guidelines, and I have to thank everyone for
taking it in their stride. The team is staying well engaged, making the best use of the technology available, and showing their support and encouragement for each other. The Board, myself included, is also embracing new ways of working to ensure we are fully informed and our first ‘video conference’ is arranged for next week.
Our Chief Executive, Tony Allcock OBE, officially retires on Tuesday 31st March, and it would be remiss of me not to thank him once more for all of his work over the years. Sadly, we were not able to say farewell in the manner that we all wished, but I am sure it will be a case of ‘au revoir’ and we shall see him around the greens in the future. Alistair Hollis and Penny Maguire are leading the staff team during the interim period ahead of the arrival of Jon Cockcroft on 1st June.
In looking to the future, we are committed to keeping all of our members informed and entertained during this period. We have already produced a series of guidance documents and more will follow. We are currently finalising a bowls specific on-line activity guide together with a series of interviews with members of the bowls community to keep us engaged.
Please do not hesitate to get in touch with one of the team if we can help you during this period.
I feel sure that when we come out of the current situation we will return to a sport that will be better and stronger for us all.
Bowls England launches its own YouTube Channel
Bowls England has 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 by visiting: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjtPZ9KqcGZA1L0fHqxfMeg
Coach Bowls issues FAQs
Coach Bowls has issued its own FAQs to answer the number of queries they have received. This is attached.
Please feel free to use any snippets of information which you might be of interest to members and continue to keep in touch with them.