To all our Members, Parents, Coaches and Gymnasts:
Yesterday, we needed you to vote on whether the gym stays open or closes. Just a week ago we would have been amazed at that statement! We would have said you must be mad! What are you talking about? Is there a war?
Essentially there is and we, as an organisation and a group of governing Trustees, are trying to do the right thing by our Members, Parents, Coaches and Gymnasts.
We are in unchartered waters, there is no precedent for what we are going through and we have to adapt on a daily basis. Our main priority is the health and well-being of everyone involved with the charity and we are following the Government, the World Health Organisation and British Gymnastics advice on the right things to do. And, as you have seen this week from the escalation and change of priorities from Boris and his team, this is changing daily.
Our second priority is to ensure that there is still an Arabian School of Gymnastics in existence when all of this blows over and things get back to normal. This is a tough one as we are having to make decisions based on an unknown outcome and with unknown timescales. The Trustees are meeting on a daily basis to manage this crisis, and crisis it is!
With no income, as a not-for-profit charity, there is only a finite amount of time we have before the funds run dry. Therefore we are having to make some very tough decisions which, in the long-term, will be in the best interests of the club and ensure its longevity as we reach the other side of the abyss. We need everyone’s help to enable us to achieve this and we must all pull together and think of the club as a whole. It really is that serious. As with any business, if the income stream is cut off then there is only one inevitable outcome.
Therefore, you will see us involved in various fund-raising activities to help us bridge this gap and to top up the funds to prolong the point where this virus could pull us under for good. The longer it goes on the harder it will become. We would welcome any ideas to help us raise funds and maintain the legacy that has been Arabian for over 20 years. We are determined that we have something for the Gymnasts to come back to and that we keep our Coaches in a job. Please monitor the Arabian website and Facebook for the latest details.
Coming back to the voting, it was almost as conclusive as Brexit! It was extremely close and just slightly in favour of staying open. So, that is what we are doing, staying open, although it will be far from business as usual. However, it should be fun for all of those that turn up. Claire, Lee and the Coaches are working on the schedule and deciding on how we can continue to offer a quality service during these difficult times. Of course, you may have voted to close the gym, in which case no-one will complain if you do not come in. We felt it necessary to offer the choice to our members. However, we will be enforcing a change in behaviour to all of those that do want to come in. More details will be communicated over the next day or two but are likely to include smaller groups, social distancing during training and breaks, mandatory hand washing and the use of hand-sanitiser. There may even be distance learning options.
Many things are being considered and we will keep you informed at every opportunity. It is our goal, as Trustees, to be open, honest and immediate.
In these unprecedented times we must pull together….whilst remaining socially distant! Keep safe!
Chairman – Board of Trustees