A ominous title right? with the lockdown still ongoing on the uncertainty of when “normality” will resume and what that may look like. I wanted to reach out to you all about what the future of Bishop Auckland Table Tennis club looks like and assure you we are going nowhere! we will be back bigger and better than ever.
Firstly I hope your all safe and staying well, I’m sure your all missing the sessions and the matches and everything that comes with the sport and club, those who know me well will know how hard not being in the hall is for me! I know I’m very much missing seeing you all and can’t wait to get back.
However, during the break, work behind the scenes has not stopped! I am currently a third of the way through a comprehensive business plan (14 pages so far) which I hope will help bring funders/ partners on board and help with the new building. Plans for the new building are still ongoing and I have good news on that matter as we have moved forward with the planning department at the council, but understandably, many of our funders are currently focusing on immediate need within the area.
Many of you will have got the fitness plans I sent out and the skills videos along with the mental strength document and other table tennis related things you can be doing at home.
The club coaches have been working on their coaching skills undergoing CPD courses such as Table Tennis England webinars, mental health training and I have been doing online courses on marketing to help us with our awareness in the area to keep recruiting new players and also to help sell the new building.
The website has been updated with new information (sorry mostly boring stuff) but the trick shot challenge we launched at the start of the lockdown is all on there for anyone who has not yet seen the videos. www.bishopaucklandttc.co.uk
One area that has seen a lot of work done is in the admin side, this forced break highlighted some areas of data collection and communication that was not good enough. So, we have put new processes in the place to hopefully help improve our communication with all our users.
With these changes, when we get the green light to reopen, we will need everyone to “re-register” with the club. Either as a member, or by filling in a new “first-time form” this is to help the club ensure we have up to date information and have better reporting figures for Table Tennis England and help us offer a better experience for everyone.
This brings me nicely on to memberships, I am speculating that it will be June time before we will be allowed to re-open (I hope I’m wrong) this means that memberships will be due for renewal for the 20-21 season.
I hate to be talking money during this uncertain time and so many people furloughed etc, but we need your continued support for the future of the club.
Moving forward we are in a reasonable financial position and a lucky position that while were are closed we have next to no outgoing, but every week we don’t run sessions there’s no money going into “pot” which helps pay for the balls, equipment, volunteer training and the cost of running all the teams etc.
Meaning that without replacing this lost income we may not be able to replace the balls or run as many teams next year, we have been applying for grants and have been fortune to have got a small amount in but still behind where we would have been.
We need your support by signing up to your yearly membership as soon as you can, once due of course. Club memberships for the next year or so will be vital to help keeping the club running. As
part of the business plan, I have done research on other clubs and we are by far one the cheapest in the country for what we offer.
A bonus of the membership for the next 2 - 4 years is that we have agreed a deal with Tibhar and Bribar for an exclusive Bishop Auckland TTC Tibhar club shirt. Basically, meaning that Tibhar, one of the world leading table tennis companies, are making shirt just for Bishop Auckland TTC members and will not be sold anywhere else in the world! Something as a management team we are extremely excited about.
As every year we have tried to keep this cost as low as we can and believe the membership offers incredible value. Membership forms and more details of membership can be found here
we are also asking for your help with fundraising, if you can spare some time to set up some fundraising for the club or have business contact who may be able to help please get in touch.
It goes against the ethos of the club to put money as a hurdle to access table tennis and so as a club we want to do as much as can to ensure this does not happen and we remain a community club.
We are aware that you will have had several months (by the time we re open) of no table tennis,
and have already started discussing our options for an increased timetable for a period. once we can open the doors. This includes weekend sessions/ training days and increased usage during the summer holidays to make up for lost time. This of course this is all subject to the government’s plans to decrease lockdown and social distancing.
To ease some of your minds we have also had discussions about hygiene and social distancing within the session and new protocols we may need to put in place when we open for everyone protection, again once the government makes more information clear we can make clear plans but please be aware when we re open, things might be different.
The planned summer training camps we are optimistically keeping on the calendar same for the other planned summer activities, but like a broken record once we know more from the government, we can make an announcement.
You will have seen that one of the big concerns during this lockdown is peoples mental health, many of you will know this is something close to my heart and an issue I have been dealing with for many years mostly in silence, so I want to make sure that your all aware that if you do need a chat I am here to talk. Call or text/whatsapp etc. I’m not the chattiest person in the world but even if its just a rant about your mum or dad lol it might make you feel better.
On a more positive note hopefully you will have seen the throwback photos being posted on the social media channels and had a good laugh at young me and many other members from the start of the club. And that you have seen the weekly quizzes, these have started really well and hopefully I will get to see some more of you over the next few weeks at the quiz.
Finally, we want to hear from you. This is your club and we want to hear from you, do you have ideas about what the club can do during the lock down or ideas about after the lockdown. What are you doing during lockdown can we get it on the social media? If Tin Tin Ho can sing a song so can some of you, I cannot tho, its in YOUR best interests trust me. It might even be areas in club you can help improve, from newsletters or website or checking my awful English skills ha-ha. We want your input into OUR great club.