Tuesday 1st September 2020
The following is an update from Royal Wootton Bassett Sports Association Acting Chairman Pete Yeardley regarding the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the Sports Association:
With the advent of schools returning, I feel it is a prudent time to give all our members an update on the Sports Association's operations and finances.
Firstly, it is re-assuring to welcome all of our clubs back and to witness sport once again taking place at the Gerard Buxton Sports Ground complex. An enormous amount of credit must be given to all the respective committees for compiling comprehensive Risk Assessment and Method Statements and putting in place protocols that not only allow the resumption of sporting activities but place the health and wellbeing of their members first.
During the past few months you will notice that the social and bar area have reopened albeit on shortened hours as the demand dictated. An enormous amount of time and effort has taken place behind the scenes to ensure that operations can commence and during this period all staff have worked as volunteers to minimize the association's costs.
A massive thanks should be extended to Kate Warren, Fiona Wood, Keith Sealy and Dave Thomas on behalf of all our members for their significant contributions.
We have established a one way system within the bar area, track and trace registration is in place, social distancing seating has been established, with a terrace patio also offering "al a fresco" drinking. Cleaning of tables, toilets and public areas also takes place on an hourly basis.
We are blessed that a unique feature of this building's design are the three eco-vent heat recovery systems installed in the roof voids. This enables fresh air at a rate of 24 litres per second to be pumped into all areas of the building (including the changing rooms). As no air is recycled, this fully endorses the WHO advice on building ventilation management during this COVID crisis.
Personally, I do not know of another establishment within the hospitality sector in Royal Wootton Bassett that can provide this facility.
All in all, I firmly believe that we are in the best place to offer members the safest possible environment in which to socialize during this pandemic.
I would also like to acknowledge two organizations during this period.
Firstly, Royal Wootton Bassett Town Council, who provide our ground maintenance. They have been extremely helpful in allowing us greater flexibility in contracted hours and allowing Andy Clinch to perform essential maintenance during the lockdown. This ensured the playing surfaces have been kept in a manageable condition and enabled a faster turnaround once the resumption of sport was allowed.
Secondly, we are indebted to the continued financial support of Crapper and Sons Landfill. Through another community first grant we have been able to replace three vital pieces of ground machinery that will both expedite ground maintenance as well as reduce expensive machinery hire costs. It is astonishing the support that Richard and his company have given to many organizations within our community, and we acknowledge his valuable contribution on behalf of all our member clubs.
There is no doubt in my mind that we face difficult times ahead, particularly during the long winter months. Our expenditure will be ramped up as heating and lighting requirements will be increased. From 1 September, we will also be extending our opening hours which will inevitably mean that our labour costs will commence. Our income streams will be impacted with Covid regulations denying the ability to host large gatherings from outside parties, conferences etc. Also, without being too pessimistic, many within the health sector fear a second wave with potential local lockdown measures being implemented.
I also fear, like many, the possible implications of a second wave of infections that many within the health sector are predicting. What impact this will have on operations or finances are yet to be determined but rest assured the Executive Committee will act swiftly to protect our members and the association's facilities.
We will therefore rely on you, our membership, to patronize the establishment.
Make this your first choice for a social drink. Sky Sports will resume in September. The coffee shop will be open at weekends. Our sporting clubs will resume their competitive fixtures, etc.
We have established a safe, friendly atmosphere and look forward to welcoming you all.
Yours in sport,
Royal Wootton Bassett Sports Association Chairman and Facility Manager