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Coronavirus - Statement No. 3

posted Mar 27, 2020, 10:01 AM by Malcolm Fletcher   [ updated Mar 28, 2020, 12:51 PM ]
Date issued Friday 26th March: 

Dear member club officials and all MSBL bowlers,

As you all probably know by now, suspension of all competitive crown green bowls was soon followed by closure of all greens under strict lockdown rules announced by the Prime Minister on Monday night.

And that obviously means security of clubs is now an issue while people are not using them. So the League urges clubs to make sure their equipment is kept safe and locked away.

Officers are also reassured that the SCGBA is actively seeking the advice of professionals about what is essential maintenance of a bowling green when not in use. They promise to pass on this information ASAP as we all know clubs will need to save as much expenditure as possible.

But League chairman Sean Round and vice-chairman Dave Evans are both greenkeepers at their respective clubs and can be contacted by phone should any club need urgent advice. Their numbers are on the MSBL website under Admin.

Greens will surely need cutting on a regular basis – perhaps once a week? And Adrian Corney, Specialist Environmental Officer of Telford & Wrekin Council, has confirmed to a member club that essential maintenance is okay as greens are outside and people can maintain the 2 metres social distancing rule while grass cutting.

As for club bowlers, the League supports the SCGBA recommendation that they pay their annual membership subs to help their club get through this difficult financial time. It could be their only form of income and vital for them . . . simply to survive.

Treasurer Celia Miles continues to work on financial support proposals that will be agreed by the officers shortly and then circulated to clubs, one of which is an offer of emergency interest free loans.

Her budget for 2020 has to include expenditure on the Junior Bowls Scheme approved at the March executive meeting. Although it looks as though clubs will not be able to  hold an Open Day this year to qualify for the half price reduction to £27.50 (with the League paying the other half), officers will decide an official extension to the time period – possibly to the first 3 months of the 2021 season.

Member clubs will find it helpful to fill in a BCGBA survey that is being carried out to try and target potential help for clubs from Sport England (the link to it is on the Coronavirus section of this website) 

On a positive note, as I have said before – and County Development Officer Pauline Wilson agrees - there could be a huge opportunity for bowls when this crisis eventually passes to attract bored and isolated people of all ages to take up the sport we all love. Increased membership is the best way to secure the long term futures of our clubs when we get through these increasingly tougher times. 

But for now, can we appeal again to club officials to ensure the safety of their members, help those that need help maybe with essential shopping tasks, or just a phone call to check they are okay. And please be aware of scams and fake news. 

Take care, stay safe and healthy.

And if you need any help, advice or just want a chat – myself and all your League officers are at the end of the phone for you all.

Malcolm Fletcher (General Secretary)