Chair Statement - June 2020

Dear Clubs, Members and Partners,

I hope everyone is safe, well and staying active during this time. Another month has passed since my last message and we are already two phases into the easing of lockdown restrictions. Whilst progress might feel slow, we are moving in the right direction and I would urge all our members to continue to be patient and understanding at this time. Like so many of you, I am looking forward to being able to go out and see friends and family. We just have to be patient a little longer.

Many of our clubs opened in phase one and more are beginning to open in phase two, showing real innovation and creativity. There are some excellent examples of how our clubs are reaching out to their members and encouraging them to play in a safe and secure way. A key recommendation from our COVID-19 Club Survey was for clubs to share good practice, so please continue to work together and support each other throughout the phased return to the green.

I know that toilet access and travel restrictions are causing frustration amongst our members and please know that we continue to discuss the situation with the Scottish Government. Our message remains that public health and wellbeing is the priority and as a Governing Body we have a responsibility to do what we can to continue to suppress the spread of the virus. This includes working in partnership with sportscotland to ensure our sport specific guidance is in line with Public Health Scotland and Scottish Government requirements.

Our board and staff continue to work to our core values of collaboration, inclusivity, integrity, and clarity. These values are important and have been key to how we behave, think, and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Whilst supporting our clubs with the challenges they are facing and ensuring our sport continues to progress through the lockdown phases, we have also been looking at what we do and how we do it. Perhaps we could all use this time for reflection and to consider what our wonderful game looks like in the future.

We continue to provide regular, concise, and up to date advice, support, and guidance to our clubs as well as offering new and bespoke support including Zoom training sessions. We will continue to respond to the needs of our clubs and offer more online training sessions including social media, membership growth, governance and culture & values.   

Our Club Crisis Fund closes this week and we hope that our clubs who need to access funding, have engaged in this process. We know our clubs have been successful with external pots of funding available, showing resourcefulness and purpose. We do, however, know that some clubs will be struggling, and we might not know the true extent of the pandemic for months to come. We will issue a further COVID-19 Club Survey to assess this and like the last survey, put in place interventions to ensure our clubs are fully supported.

Our staff continue to show leadership, spirit, strength, and imagination throughout this time, and I want to thank them for continuing to do a fantastic job. Whilst our staff have responded extremely well to a new way of working, we are always mindful of the challenges they face working remotely.

In my last message, my final thought focussed on kindness. I would like to maintain this message and ask all our members continue to show compassion and understanding. This is especially the case on social media where our sport is on public display for the world to see. Our wonderful game can offer so much to so many and whilst we all do have a difference of opinion, what we share is the love of our sport. Be Kind, Stay Safe and Keep Positive.

Sue Beatt

Chair, Bowls Scotland

#StaySafeSaveLives

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