4th June – message from Alistair Hollis – Bowls England
As I am sure you are aware, the Prime Minister last night announced an easing of restrictions to enable groups of up to six people to meet outside.
However, at the time of writing the current Government guidance for lawn bowls continues to state:
“You can play lawn bowls where facilities have reopened, but you can only take part in these activities by yourself, or with members of your household or with 1 person outside of your household, as long as you are able to maintain social distancing.”
We are seeking clarification from Government on whether the announcement last night will lead to any relaxation in the current guidance for exercise and will update you in due course.
For information, earlier this week we wrote to Sport England to request that dispensation be given to allow pairs play between members of two or more households and a response on this is awaited.
Click here for the latest Bowls Cornwall newsletter.
See the club news section for the latest information on the green re-opening on 1st June.
HOLDING STATEMENT ON REOPENING OF BOWLING GREENS ISSUED BY BOWLS ENGLAND CHAIR DAVID TUCKER
The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced on Sunday night that lockdown restrictions would be eased in relation to physical activity and that some outdoor areas, including bowling greens, would be allowed to reopen from Wednesday 13th May.
This announcement, and the subsequent release of more detailed guidance yesterday, has led to a fresh influx of enquiries from Clubs, County Associations and individual members regarding what this will mean for our sport.
Bowls England, and many other national sporting bodies, are still digesting the various documents and awaiting direction from the Government on a range of issues that is expected to include, but not be limited to, the use of toilets, changing rooms and other facilities. As soon as this information is available, we will provide this to you at the earliest opportunity.
Whilst our aim is to expedite the safe resumption of our sport, I am sure you will understand that this is a complex situation and requires due consideration. We are currently developing some bowls specific guidance, which will assist with many of the practical issues that will need to be considered by Clubs and players. Additionally, a number of Clubs have already shared with us some of their own ideas for restarting locally, and we shall seek to incorporate these within the guidance document. This will be shared in the coming days. We will also be analysing the response to our recent Club Survey in order to determine the priorities for our members over the coming months.
In the meantime, we would recommend you digest the guidance from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) detailed below. Many Clubs may feel that they have taken all the necessary steps in order to facilitate their Club reopening, whereas others may wish to wait. Similarly, whilst many players are clearly keen to get back on the green, others may choose not to do so immediately. It will be for individuals and Clubs to determine when they are ready to enjoy our sport once more, and we hope that guidance we will be issuing will support you do to this safely.
DCMS – Key Messages:
- We are increasing people’s access to local, outdoor physical activity for the purpose of wellbeing
- People will only be able to use these facilities:
- By themselves OR
- With people from their own household OR
- with one other person from outside their household (as long as they stay two metres apart)
- You can only exercise in groups of no more than two, unless you are exclusively with members of your household. This means that you cannot have five people from one household plus one person from outside the household playing sport together. You can have two people, from two different households, as long as they are staying two metres apart.
- It is for individual Clubs and organisations to develop their own guidance on reopening, to best fit their own situation, in line with the Government’s advice.
DCMS – Q and A:
What has been announced?
The Government has announced that people can go outside more than once a day for exercise as long as they are following social distancing guidelines, alone, with members of their household, or with one person from outside of their household. You must still only exercise in groups of no more than two people, unless you are exercising with your household. Any facilities associated with outdoor sports and physical activities are permitted to reopen from Wednesday 13th May 2020 if those responsible for them feel ready to do so and if they can do so safely, and in line with this and related public health guidance. Outdoor gyms, playgrounds, or outdoor swimming pools will remain closed.
What can I do?
All outdoor sports and physical activities are permitted, without time limit, with the exception of swimming in an open-air swimming pool. All must be done alone with members of your household or, providing you are following social distancing guidelines, with one person from outside your household.
What sort of facilities are reopening?
Any facilities associated with outdoor sports and physical activities are permitted to reopen, including outdoor bowling greens.
When will these open?
Facilities will be allowed to open from Wednesday 13th May. Each venue, including council-owned sports facilities, must make their own decision about when their facilities are ready. The Government will be publishing high level guidance for sports and venues to help them think about preparations shortly. [Bowls England will be issuing a bowls specific guidance document].
Can I share equipment?
Yes, but you should enforce strong hygiene measures. This might be cleaning it rigorously in line with wider guidance on hygiene, for example by using antibacterial spray and washing hands thoroughly before and after use.
Link to post re. grants approved for Mylor Bridge Bowling Club. Click here.
Bowls Cornwall have no dedicated section within their website, nor any links to CoVid19 updates. They have produced an April newsletter, which you can read here.
For Bowls England replies to frequently asked questions click here
For the latest updates, visit www.bowlsengland.com and scroll down to ‘Latest News’
News release – Wednesday 18th March 2020
BOWLS ENGLAND SETS OUT PLANS FOR 2020 SEASON IN RESPONSE TO CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK
Bowls England has announced the cancellation of all its domestic events ahead of the 2020 lawn bowls season in response to the latest Government advice and growing concerns from bowlers about how the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak will impact lawn bowls.
The decision, which was reached at an Emergency Meeting of Board members and key staff, held on Tuesday 17th March, covers all National Championships, National Competitions and other domestic events. Discussions are ongoing with the British Isles Bowls Council and British Isles Women’s Bowls Council with regard to British Isles events this year.
Bowls England will be providing support and advice to clubs and county associations over the coming weeks to ensure the future of the sport – including plans for a proposed ‘Festival of Bowls’ later in the season.
Tony Allcock OBE, Bowls England Chief Executive, said: “Every organisation is currently coming to terms with a global situation that is unprecedented, to which Bowls England is sadly not immune. The National Finals are the conclusion of a long process that starts each year in May, therefore it is not possible for the qualification process to be completed in time throughout our 35 county associations.
“However, bowlers are known to be resilient and have proven in the past that they join together and support each other in the time of need. Now, more than ever, is the time for us all to work together to ensure that our clubs and bowling greens are available when it is deemed safe to resume our much-loved sport. So we would urge our members to commit to their clubs, keep an eye out for their fellow members who may feel isolated and be ready to get back on the greens when Government guidance allows.
“Finally, I wish to thank my staff team for their support at this time in managing this ever-changing situation. We have been inundated with enquiries from our clubs and county associations, and we will ensure that each and every enquiry is responded to in the coming days. However, our priority in the next two days will be ensuring that our staff are able to work from home effectively from next Monday”
The Board agreed that one of the most important areas of work for Bowls England over the coming weeks will be club support. Bowls England plans to provide advice and support on subjects including:
- Coronavirus Guidance
- Minimum amount of Greens Maintenance required so greens are playable when we resume bowling
- Funding (including Club Loans and encouraging bowlers to support their clubs financially by continuing to pay their annual subscriptions – so clubs will still be there for them when we resume bowling)
- Looking after each other (including encouraging members to keep an eye out for each other, especially fellow bowlers who may live on their own)
- Staying Fit (including producing a ‘Bowlers’ Workout’ in order to keep members active during isolation or working from home)
Other key decisions taken by the Board were:
- Bowls England office to close with effect from Friday 20thMarch and all staff (including Coach Bowls employees) to work from home with effect from Monday 23rd March – support for Clubs and County Associations will continue as normal.
- Work on the new Bowls England Head Office is put ‘on hold’ until further notice
- In support of Clubs at this difficult time, Bowls England will refund the Affiliation Fees paid for 2020 by each playing member. Bowls England will arrange refunds to the county associations, who are mandated to ensure that all monies are then paid to their Member Clubs.
- Board to meet regularly via Skype/Conference Call to monitor the ever-changing situation, review the impact on bowls and plan accordingly – regular updates will be issued.
21st March – Statement from Christine Hore
You will have received a copy of the Bowls England’s announcement to cancel all its domestic events in response to the latest Government advice and growing concerns from bowlers. Clearly their decision has a knock on effect to County Associations and Clubs with bowling at all levels from roll ups to National Championships and Competitions being cancelled. Attached is a copy of the full statement issued by Bowls England.
Bowls Cornwall Action Plan
- Bowls Cornwall are therefore cancelling all events/competitions in their 2020 County Programme, Group Programmes and all League matches. Clearly this will be a disappointment to many bowlers and Clubs however should the Government advice change which allows Bowls clubs to open then Bowls Cornwall will look to provide some County events towards the end of the season. Clubs should remain closed except for essential maintenance and green maintenance until further notice.
- Bowls Cornwall will receive a refund from Bowls England for Affiliation Fees and Championship Entry Fees which will be forwarded to the relevant Clubs. Bowls Cornwall will also refund the Affiliation Fees to the County and the entry fees for County Competitions to the relevant Clubs. These payments will be made in due course.
- Clubs should still continue to contact the Bowls Cornwall Administrator regarding any concerns either by email, post or telephone.
- All Bowls Cornwall meetings will be cancelled until further notice and all issues will be dealt with by email or telephone with the relevant Committee members or Executive Board members.
- That all current Bowls Cornwall Officers/Officials and Group Officers to remain in post for the 2021 season (unless they prefer not to). This would mean that the Presidential Team be ‘deferred’ for one year (i.e. John Harding to be President in 2021/Mariota McPherson 2022) in order for them to enjoy a full year in office. The Junior Vice President position is vacant and it is hoped that this vacancy could be filled for 2021.
- It is hoped that Club members will support their Clubs financially and pay their annual subscriptions so that the Clubs will be there for them when we are able to resume bowling.
- Would members please look after each other i.e. help with shopping/keep in contact by telephone especially with those members who live on their own.
- The County’s meeting and the Bowls Cornwall AGM are subject to review as are the two County Luncheons.
- Bowls Cornwall will continue to forward information received from Bowls England on the Coronavirus and monitor the situation.
Could you please forward a copy of this email and the attached Bowls England Statement to your members so that they are fully aware of the position.
If you have any queries please let me know.
Bowls Cornwall Administrator
22nd March – Chris Johns – Hon. Sec
Following on from the earlier message I am now able to inform you that after a multitude of telephone calls and messages the Club Chairman Brian Jeffries has managed to obtain a consensus of opinion from the committee regarding the status of Mylor Bridge Bowls Club.
Regrettably we have to inform you all that effective immediately all of the club facilities are closed until further notice. the committee will of course continue to monitor the situation and when conditions permit we will look to ease these restrictions. Therefore the Presidents Day / Green opening will be indefinitely postponed.
Unfortunately this action will remove some of the frequent exercise and social contact which many of our members benefit from at the club, but the circumstances of the current situation have dictated such extreme measures in an environment where so many of our club members are within the higher risk category. So I take this opportunity to encourage you all to keep moving around, take some fresh air even if only in your own garden, and be fit and well ready for when we can get back on that green again.
In line with most other places that have an income and expenditure, the lack of team games with their subsequent income (around 50% of club funding) of match fees / raffles / bar use will have a very significant impact on the clubs financial position, and we ask you to be patient and offer support to your club at this time, any refunds to the club as mentioned in below message are likely to be slow in arriving and our treasurer Tony Hill is currently pursuing a variety of options, trying to reduce outgoings at this time so has his hands full with caring for the clubs finances.
I thank those of you that have come forward to agree acting as email link to those that don’t have this function, and ask that you relay on asap.
21st March – Chris Johns – Hon. Sec
Our apologies for the apparent belated nature of information coming to members regarding the approaching outdoor bowls season but please be assured that numerous communications and messages are flying around the exec committee on a daily basis trying to establish the situation. Whilst Bowls England notification arrived on Tuesday the official notice of cancellations from Bowls Cornwall did not arrive until late Friday p.m.
The executive committee have been actively discussing these documents and will be holding an Emergency Executive meeting on Wednesday, after which we hope to provide full information to all.
In the interim I am able to inform you that:-
All National Competitions / National Championships / regional events have been cancelled by Bowls England.
All County games / County championships / County competitions / League games and any other team games have been cancelled by Bowls Cornwall.
I would like to take this opportunity to potentially formalise some means of contact for those club members that are not on e-mail, to ensure everyone is receiving information at this critical time, their names appear below. If any other club member would be willing to nominate themselves as a contact point for a specific member(s) below to ensure information is passed onto them by phone or a print out of critical messages through postbox then it would be much appreciated if you can advise me and I will maintain that info so I know if anyone is missing updates.
TONY BROWN – Falmouth
MARGARET CALTHORPE – Mylor
ROSEMARY DALE – Mylor
ERNEST DRYSDALE – Mylor
MAVIS PARKER – Mylor
LUCIE SULCH & TREVOR SULCH – Mylor
NORMA THOMAS – Mylor
FRANCES WALTHER – Penryn
ERIC WATTS – Penryn
21st March – A message from Cordelia Folland
21st March – Official government advice relating to social distancing – click here
16th March – Open letter to all Mylor Parish residents (not specifically bowls related) – click here