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Keeping members engaged, supported and Informed throughout the pandemic.
The 8 Board Members conducted 4 meetings via Microsoft Teams to discuss COVID and its impact on club members and came up with the following strategy:
The Board appointed 3 COVID Safety personnel to oversee additional safety precautions put in place according to the Sport Australia Return to Sport Toolkit.
3 Coaches contacted 90 players to collect information about how the pandemic affected them, would impact on their ability to participate this season (July 2020 - Feb 2021), any concerns they had, and reported their findings back to the Board.
Information about additional safety measures and requirements were included in the clubs marketing campaign, including items that addressed concerns and questions raised by members to the coaches.
Coaches underwent COVID Safe Coaching Certification online through Open Learning.
Players were provided additional learning, mental health support line Information, contacts for club support/leaders, and online chat and activities through Discord, Facebook and WhatsApp.
The club subsidised all memberships by $100 per player.
The club engaged Richmond Wellbeing to deliver their 4-part mental health COVID Sport program "Bouncing Back" beginning the last week of August 2020.
Why we did it
The club culture is family-focused, with a strategic commitment to fostering community inclusion and mental health support. This involves coaches and leaders being in contact with players throughout the off-season. Feedback from club coaches and leaders indicated that members had been financially impacted by the pandemic through a reduction or loss of employment.
This, and social distancing requirements, had meant members could not attend social events and this had a negative impact on their mental health. Developing online activities was key to establishing the ability for all our members to interact remotely and remain engaged with the community through chat and alternate activities. Reducing fees and providing education was a means of reassuring members that the Board had listened to their concerns and was using this to inform decisions, ensuring the club would continue to be safe and accessible.
Developing this initiative was key to linking up the Interaction of our members online and reassuring them that the club would.
How we know it worked
Target met: club registration numbers match those at this time last year.
Target exceeded: training roll call indicates participation numbers at each training session are consistent and higher than last season.
Formal reports: written assessments of player's mental health collected, scored and provided back too the club's Board by Richmond Wellbeing's Bouncing Back program. Club leaders will be undergoing specific training and developing initiatives following further consultation with Richmond Wellbeing.
Surveys, monitoring social media and registrations are ongoing.