I’m sure you will all be aware by now that the Prime Minister has imposed a national lockdown commencing at 12:01am this Thursday 5th November, this lockdown is subject to Parliament approval which is widely expected to happen on Wednesday.
Over the last few days we have been waiting for an update from British Gymnastics, and now know that they have been in communication with Sport England and UK Sport to no avail. Late yesterday evening we received clear communication from BG that sadly gymnastics clubs cannot remain open and there will be no last-minute changes.
On a personal note, and leaving politics aside, I still can’t understand the logic behind closing the gym, indeed we have fewer people in at any one time than the average classroom and our gym area is probably 4 times the size – and as you all know by now we’re very strict with our Covid-19 rules for everyone’s benefit and maintain strict social distancing, arguably much more so than schools are able to.
Nevertheless, rules are rules, and Arabian will of course abide by these, it just seems so very difficult for our gymnasts, most of whom have caught up with their fitness and flexibility after significant time off, and now need to go through this all again. Like many other businesses we’ve spent considerable time, effort and money making sure we’re Covid-19 secure, at least when the current restrictions are lifted, we’ll be ready to reopen immediately we’re given the go-ahead.
In light of the above we will shut our doors once again from this Thursday – and all classes after Wednesday will be closed. Similar to the last lockdown I’ve held a meeting yesterday with Anthony, our Chair of Trustees and Claire, our Head Coach and we wanted to give some clarity on fees during this period of uncertainty.
- All subscription fees will be put on hold until we reopen, even if this goes into January. We’ll do this on Thursday just in case there are any changes following the vote in Parliament on Wednesday.
- All paid for but unused bookings for baby gym (for bookings Thursday onward) will be credited.
- All paid for but unused trials (for potential new gymnasts) will be credited. Part used trials will be carried forward until we reopen.
- Our booking system has collected fees automatically for November and giving the timing of the announcement (and of course we were still hoping we could continue at that point) it wasn’t possible to stop this happening.
November fees will be kept in credit on your account for the time we reopen, whether that be December or January and your first month back will be paid for from these.
- Those members who would like to cancel their membership and receive a refund for their November fees are welcome, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll action these from Monday 9th Although the money is collected from you on the 1st, it goes through a clearing process before we’re credited some 7 to 8 days later, whilst we happy to cancel and refund we won’t do it until the money is received in our account.
- During the last lock down some members thankfully were in a position to continue paying all of some of their fees and as I’ve written before it’s almost certain we wouldn’t be here now without this additional support. If you are in a position to help and would like us to collect fees, even if significantly reduced, please email email@example.com and we can amend your monthly subs to the agreed donation amount – there’s absolutely no pressure at all to do this, we recognise some may be able whilst others will not, and once again for clarity the default position is that all subscriptions will be put on hold until we reopen or unless you email us giving us permission to collect more as a donation.
We believe the above system is the fairest for all, and the least admin intensive way of managing this. It also provides total clarity and transparency, allows people to donate if they wish but also gives a solution for those that wish to leave due to the current uncertainty. We certainly don’t want members to be paying for something they can’t receive, equally as a charity we’re inevitably funded completely by our members.
Similar to most affected businesses we sadly have no option but to put most staff back on furlough, but we will be leaving one full time paid member of staff to run Zoom sessions for all the gymnasts – we recognise that holding gym sessions over Zoom isn’t ideal but sadly we have no other alternatives and wanted to do what we are able to support and encourage our gymnasts.
These Zoom sessions will be available to all gymnasts and will be free to attend for current members. We will put a ‘donation’ button somewhere on the website or links in emails and ask that if you are able you make a small donation towards the real cost of providing these. As before we recognise different families are in different positions so if you are able to help us out with these costs please do.
Once again, thank you all for your continued support – this isn’t easy for any of us but of course safety is of paramount importance. Please do keep a regular eye on the website and Facebook as we will post updates in those locations as appropriate.
Please continue to keep safe.
Lee, Anthony and Claire
On behalf of everyone at Team Arabian