October 2020

Lindisfarne Junior Football CLub

What we did

LJFC implemented a number of strategies to support our members to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, remain connected and stay safe and return to play.

  • The club held a weekly ZOOM committee meeting to plan an approach to navigate the pandemic for the club, brainstorm what we might do, what we needed to do and stay across all the Information that was coming from peak bodies and constantly changing.
  • The club used our digital platforms to keep members updated and informed with a weekly Sunday bulletin and a monthly e-newsletter, delivered through the Sports TG platform.
  • The club approached sponsors to see how we could support their business, during the pandemic.
  • The club adapted our A frame signage, already being used to promote the 'Let kids be kids', 'No Ball for Junior Football' and 'Our coaches are Volunteers' programs to incorporate Return to Play signage to remind players, families and spectators to stay safe and adhere to COVID-19 and peak body protocols
  • Gratitude is a key strategy to grow membership and the club designed and printed postcards to be used to by coaches, team managers and committee, to show gratitude to players, volunteers, sponsors and other stakeholders.
  • The club adopted a cashless club policy with EFTPOS only.Lindisfarne Junior footballers
  • Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the club continued to meet a commitment to our values of 'community', 'compassion' and 'collaboration' and financially support our hardship policy. This policy, uses funds raised from leasing our canteen to make an annual $1000 donation to MND BIG FREEZE, another $1000 donation to a state based charity and funding to other charities, that members are connected with (up to a maximum sum total of $1000).
  • The club made a decision to stop giving each team 5 trophies at the end of year, saving money, ($6 000) and reducing the workload on volunteers to raise money. Instead, the club negotiated with a local metallurgist to create our own range of LJFC medals, some named after former players, who had a significant Impact on our club.
  • The club has planned a 2020 magazine, to help celebrate the history of the club and will be a catalyst to help rebuild the social fabric of the club moving forward, following the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The club will hold an end of season Junior and Youth Presentation Awards event, at no cost to members. Our peak body reduced fees by 30% and advised clubs not to refund any registration fees at this pro rata rate. However, our committee did not feel comfortable with this. Logistically, it was too big a task for volunteers to refund over 300 families, so we have planned an end of season event, which will act as a strategy to assist us to rebuild social fabric, at the end of what has been, a season like no other.

Why we did it

We adopted some of our messaging and communication strategies, on advice and under consideration from our peak bodies, STJFL and AFL Tasmania.

As cited in an Australian Sports Foundation survey on the impact of COVID-19 on community clubs, the survey indicates a decline in volunteering and financial viability will significantly impact sustainability, following the pandemic. Community clubs that operate on a values platform, will be the clubs that remain viable and sustainable. As such, this ethos Is driving our decision making.

The adaptive strategies the committee implemented, has allowed the club to pivot and then realign our work and find ways to support community outcomes in a post Covid19 Tasmania.

The shutdown of our club, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, allowed our committee to undertake a complete review of our club, identify what was working, what was not and research, plan and implement what we needed to do now, to navigate the pandemic.

Uppermost in the thoughts of the committee was to provide information, access to tools and support for our members, to be resilient and for our club to play a role in rebuilding social fabric, during and post, the COVID-19 pandemic.

How we know it worked

  • Feedback from members on digital platforms is, the club has done 'an awesome' job keeping everyone informed.
  • Emails and phone calls from sponsors, appreciated the consultation and offer to shift all sponsorship commitment to 2021 and support their business.
  • Feedback from families, is they appreciate the reduction in volunteering, that has followed leasing the canteen
  • Committee members have commented on surety and confidence with the move to 'cashless club'
  • Committee members 100% support the move to ZOOM meetings, reducing traveling and volunteer time
  • Some of the other 18 STJFL clubs, have commented on our signage and promotion of broad based community campaigns at our home games
  • The club has planned a draft 'member satisfaction' survey at the end of the season (November 2020), delivered through our digital platforms and Sports TG platform
  • Charity MND BIG FREEZE, CEO Jamie Howden offered to do a THANK YOU video, to acknowledge our charity donation, and
  • AFL Communications featured our Gratitude postcards in a national campaign.