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Club Update – 11th July

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- News

Following the Government’s recent announcement on the re-opening of pools from 25th July, I’m delighted to write with an update for you on our plans for a safe return to the pool, alongside a further club update.

Return to Swimming

As we look to 25th July and a time when we can return to the pool, we will continue to be guided by our governing body – Swim England. We have, of course, been in contact with both pool facilities well ahead of this decision and established their re-opening plans and ability to satisfy our pool needs. I am pleased to say that we are in great shape and will be ready to go from 25th July.

Swim England have published extensive guidance as to requirements for the safe return to swimming – our Head Coach, Ben Hatchett, has been working through all requirements and has his team of coaches ready and equipped to deliver what is required.

You can access the full guidance via this link below:-

Returning to Pools Guidance Documents

Full details of the Richmond Return to the Pool sessions will be issued in due course.

Volunteers

We have been successful in attracting volunteers for the key role of ‘Covid Officer’- without which we would not be able to open. My thanks go to Arwen Peggotty and Guy Gray for putting themselves forward for this role.

We also require a new Board Member volunteer for the Key Role of Club Treasurer.

The club treasurer is responsible for producing and managing the club’s accounts and finances and will oversee all income and expenditure for the club and plays a vital role within the club.

What we are looking for?

· You will be enthusiastic with a good knowledge of managing finances.

· You will have a financial background and good knowledge of managing and producing accounts.

· You will have a knowledge of using and producing accounting spreadsheets or other accounting systems.

· You will be reliable and honest.

· You will have a knowledge of various banking systems such as direct debit.

If you are in a position to volunteer for this role then please do let me know via my email:

8:5:3 Challenge

The incredible spirit of the club has shone throughout the 8-5-3 Challenge. An amazing £6800 has been raised – and with promised further monies we are set to break the £7000 barrier. Well done and ‘thank you’ to all – the monies will be put to great use on new lane ropes and starting blocks.

Lockdown Coaching Review

I am sure you will join with me in thanking the incredible coaching team for their tireless work in keeping the swimmers engaged throughout the 4 month period.

I have studied the actions of other clubs and can categorically say that Richmond Dales activity sits amongst the very best in the country. With Education sessions including no less than 6 Olympians we have led the North East region and much of the country. At a time when other clubs have often chosen to continue to charge a fee during lockdown we remained fee-free in order to ensure that every swimmer had the opportunity to interact with the club. I’m very proud of these efforts and of the club for remaining true to our ethos during such tough times.

Club Development

I am delighted to advise that our proposal to create the ‘North Yorkshire Dales Club Network’ has come to fruition and this entity has its first official meeting on Monday 13th July. Ben Hatchett will chair this Network and ensure that Richmond Dales is at the forefront of swimming club development in the region – an exciting time for our club.

Club Finances

I would like to thank, once again, every member that has continued to pay their club fees during this prolonged period.

We have sustained very heavy losses during this very difficult period and these fees have really helped. Our Gala Income has been removed and we face the real prospect of this continuing across the rest of this year.

Our Fundraising Team have worked tirelessly to track down and apply for any available grants to assist with our challenges. We were deeply disappointed to be rejected by Sport England for a grant from their Community Emergency Fund.

We currently have submissions for funding assistance with Comic Relief, Aviva, Warburton’s, Children in Need and Richmondshire District Council. We have even written to Rishi Sunak!

I would like to say a massive ‘thank you’ to the Fundraising Team for their continued efforts – these applications are not simple and they have been relentless in their pursuit of funding.

Moving Forward

As I stated previously, our intention is to prosper and grow and we have a plan in place that we believe will deliver a sustainable model for the club – both Swim North East and North Yorkshire Sport recognise that we are progressive club and have the potential to become sustainable.

Our challenge will be the next 12 months and we will need a number of key elements to fall in line to enable us to ride this storm:-

· Club Fees – these will be reviewed ahead of the new season. There will be an increase and we will endeavour to make this as small as possible.

· Fund Raising – we are exploring a number of initiatives designed to provide the club with both a significant injection of funds and a longer term additional income stream. We will need you help and commitment more so than ever when we launch these initiatives

If you have any questions about this or any other issue please do not hesitate tocontact .

As always, during such a challenging time, I would like to thank our swimmers and parents for their continued support of the club.

Take care, stay safe and we’ll see you back in the water in a few weeks.

Richard Palmer-Jones

Chair – RDASC