One Club’s COVID-19 Journey
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City of Echuca has 4 high quality, tift-dwarf greens. They are at their best during autumn. We employ one full-time greenkeeper, who is passionate about his work and our Club.
During the 3 months of the lockdown of Bowls Clubs we lost a major period of income. The following events were scheduled at our Club during that time: Edinburgh Shield (RSL weekend of full greens), API (Australian Postal Institute 4 days of full greens), 2020 Women’s Country Bowls Carnival (a day of full greens and 2 days of knock-outs), our own May Carnival (12 days of full greens), and overflow from the Moama Carnival (5 days). There were also social events scheduled to support these bowls competitions.
We are fortunate that we have an excellent Treasurer, Ian Whiting, who was right on the ball to implement strategies to protect our Club. Ian has a son living in Spain, and as COVID-19 was hugely impactful there before Australia, Ian was more aware than many others of what could happen.
The Board met and Jade Bennett, our greenkeeper, went to limited hours and to part holidays. This was done so that when the restrictions were limited, we could get the greens back to playing standard relatively quickly.
From the Federal Government, Ian applied and was successful with Jobkeeper ($3,000 per month), and we received the Cash Flow Boost ($10,000) with the automatic adjustment to BAS return by the Tax Office. We lodge our BAS monthly. We will receive another $10,000 in several months from the Cash Flow Boost. Ian has also submitted applications to the Victorian Government for both the Business Support Fund ($10,000) and the Community Sport Package Grant ($1,000). We are still waiting to see if we are successful with these state grants. We will apply for any relevant grants that become available.
When the restrictions were eased, Jade had one green ready for roll-ups and the members have been back using it following all the guidelines. Now Jade is happy to be working 3 days and hopefully on June 22 the guidelines will ease again, and some competitions will resume.
Article courtesy Pat Schram – City of Echuca Bowls Club.