COVID-19 SUPPORT

The health and safety of the Netball Family is our number one priority. At this point in time netball activity is suspended. For guidance and support please click here.

COVID-19 information for Clubs

Women playing netball

Take a look at this page to find specific club support to help you during this unqiue time.

During these difficult times we hope this page can support all the brilliant netball clubs who collectively play an important role in keeping the netball family active and connected.

In case you haven’t seen it, the official statement from England Netball regarding the suspension of all netball activity in line with Government guidance can be found here.

Top Tips to Keep Your Members Moving and Connected

Keeping in touch with your members, volunteers, coaches and parents., helping them feel like they are still ‘part of the club’ is particularly important right now. There are three different tiers to doing this, explained below. The level of communication and what is realistic will differ for each club, but your members will appreciate any efforts to engage with them.

It’s really important to try and continue running your club wherever possible. This might mean holding virtual meetings, including AGMs, to make longer term decisions and plan for the future. Any information like this still needs to be shared with your membership, which is one way to continue engaging them. It will also reassure them that the club is working hard to get through this period. However, be upfront and honest about any challenges you are facing during this time. Don’t feel like you can only talk to them about the club though – why not look for other interesting news / content from your sport or area to keep people informed!

There are a number of ways you can look at sharing club information and announcements. These include:

  • Sharing regular newsletters or email updates with your members.
  • Setting up group chats or closed groups on social channels to share information with specific groups of people. For example, you could have a whole-club group, plus smaller groups for individual teams.
  • Using the club’s main social channels.

Being active is a great way for people to support their mental and physical wellbeing. You may be able to draw on the expertise and experience of your coaches, volunteers and the committee to share ways to carry on being active? Talk to your members about the importance of staying active at home and consider different ways you can help participants keep up their skills.

There are a range of ways your club can encourage members to stay active, from directing them to Sport England’s #StayInWorkOut Join the Movement campaign to developing virtual training sessions they can take part in from the comfort of their home! Some clubs will find this easier than others, so explore some of the below ideas and adapt them based on what your organisation is capable of.

  • Use social channels or internal communications (e.g. whole club email updates) to encourage people to get active. Also ask them to share details of what they’re doing to the whole club!
  • Publicise any drills and skills or small workouts people can do from home on social channels. Why not ask your coaches to film themselves explaining a set of exercises and upload this to Youtube?
  • Explore using a virtual meeting space, such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts or GoTo Meeting, where coaches or qualified volunteers can run activity sessions from their living room or garden! Members can follow along in real time, which will really help them feel connected. Alternatively, you can use something as simple as Whatsapp video chat or FaceTime.

With this in mind, a fundamental consideration for all clubs is what your own safeguarding procedures say about online use. At this time, you may need to apply some of your existing guidance and procedures to the new environments. However, the principles of online safeguarding still apply.

The Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU) has created some useful safeguarding guidance on remote coaching which can be found here.

For all online coaching and activity the guidance set out by the CPSU needs to be considered.

Sports clubs and organisations provide a brilliant sense of community. If you can, why not capitalise on this by finding ways to bring people together from within their homes? If you can, encourage or even create opportunities for your members to engage with each other – not just to chat about your club or sport, but to catch up and take advantage of the social contact!

Many of the above methods will help you to bring your members together during this time, from regularly updated Whatsapp group chats to virtual training sessions they can tune in to. Just make sure you build in the opportunity for social contact as much as possible – set challenges in group chats for members to do at home, encourage members to hold video chats with their teams or ask members to get in touch with people at the club who might be having a difficult time during isolation due to their personal circumstances.

Don’t forget to keep lines of communication open with parents as well! You may have found ways to stay in touch with your members/participants, but make sure any important information is still making its way to parents. Encourage them to keep an eye on the social channels you’re sharing information through if possible, but also try to make sure you have up to date contact details and send out regular updates to parents. You might be able to set up a Whatsapp group or similar, or you can rely on update emails or newsletters. If you can, take some time to talk to parents at your club about what will work best for them. Also, if possible, encourage them to get involved in any virtual training or online workouts you can share alongside their children as a fun family activity!

To stay connected with England Netball you can follow us on our social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube). You’ll be able to connect with fellow netballers, take part in challenges plus much more.

Useful Information during this Period

There is a real opportunity for clubs to get things that have needed to be updated for a little while all sorted so that as soon as the Government guidance changes and it is safe for us to get back on court, your club is ready to go.

The below will help as there are some processes that may need to work slightly differently during this time. Click on the relevant link to find out more.

  • DBS checks
  • CAPS – Now is an ideal time to work through your CAPS accreditation, re-accreditation or even your Annual Health Check. The Netball Development Officer in your area will be happy to help, just let them know when you’re ready for some virtual support.
  • Club AGMs – this time of year is one that clubs are often holding AGMs or even the regular committee meetings.
  • Outcomes of competitions – every league is different and, at this time, league organisers are facing the challenging decisions about how to conclude leagues if netball can not resume in time to conclude the season. Support has been provided to leagues but please do make contact with your own league for the specifics around your competition. This is difficult and, depending upon Government guidance, it may be that the ideal scenario of concluding leagues simply isn’t possible so we’d encourage you to be understanding of this.

Help and Support for Club Finances

We hope that for many clubs there may be opportunities to cancel or move any venue hire costs. Despite this and in these uncertain times it is worth reviewing your club finances and ensure that you are monitoring both income and expenditure during this time, these may not be as you expected.

This handy resource could be helpful with planning/monitoring. Please note this template is designed to support all kinds of clubs, make sure you consider everything that is specific to your club, some of this may not be relevant to your club, but there may be things missing that are.

If your club is facing financial difficulties and has a need for emergency funding, our key partners Sport England have released an Emergency Fund to help keep clubs operating. Full information can be found here.

 

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