August 2020 Scottish Club Chat

Development Manager Liza Linton shares some Scottish Club Chat

This week signals a return to some sort of normality with children from throughout Scotland returning to schools. This has been a key mission of the Scottish Government and their phasing route map for emerging from lockdown and has had a significant impact to the reopening of the sporting world. However, there are a number of positives to be taken from the activity that is beginning to return in boating, even if it is still very different to our normal.

Increase in Membership?

We've heard from a small number of clubs that there has been an increased interest in membership at their clubs. This has been mainly due to people who have old boats in the garden that they keep meaning to do something about, or they have 'stumbled' upon their local club when out exercising (having never realised it was there before), or people wanting to try something new since they are not going on holiday. It is great that some clubs and centres are seeing this increase especially as it is totally unexpected, and a lot of clubs are struggling with membership. The question is how we harness this new enthusiasm at a time when getting beginners on the water is more difficult, and how we keep people engaged to return not only for the remainder of this season but for next year. If you have had an increase in interest, then please let us know.

The latest episode of the Podcast hears from some clubs who are enjoying this spinoff from Covid-19 as well as looking at the challenges and issues that have come up along they way. Click the links to find out more Podbean and Spotify (also available on other platforms).

Return to Boating - Update

At the last review date on 30th July, the First Minister gave an update on Phase 3 and a list of indicative dates that we are hoping may result in a number of significant changes in sporting guidance. The 24th August date includes the re-introduction of outdoor adult contact sports, and the re-opening of some indoor venues (snooker and bowling halls). We hope, although can't be certain, that we may get access to an adult sport bubble similar to the children's one and the option to use our indoor spaces as long as it's not for physical activity (that links more to 14th September for indoor sport). We must stress that this is all potential at the moment and whilst we continue to work on your behalf with sportscotland (and the Scottish Government) we will only be able to confirm this when our next guidance is issued after the First Minister's review on 20th August.

We know the frustration that is being felt across the clubs, organisations and training centres as other industries such as pubs and cinemas are being open, yet we still can't return to all forms of boating. Please note that we are trying to help as much as possible, that we continue to work with our partners and that we are available for you to ask questions around our guidance.

Connect Sessions � slight change

So, we've been hosting our Connect Sessions every Wednesday during April July. The original aims, were to try to connect the boating community to each other and to ourselves during this difficult Coronavirus period, to provide support from RYA Scotland and from others in our sector, to provide guidance via questions, ideas, explanations and discussions,  on how we can all return to the water safely. The sessions have proved very informative to all those involved and have also helped us to develop our guidance, based on the questions that are being asked.

Even though more clubs and centres are now getting back on the water (although not all are able to or planning to do so yet), we are still keen to provide the opportunity for clubs, organisations and centres to get together, however, we've changed the frequency to every 2 weeks and have introduced a theme for the sessions. You can book onto the August sessions using the links below:

Wed 12th August - Moving on and Future Activity -How do we move from where we are now to future activity? What do clubs, organisations and centres need to ensure they are confident with what they are doing, have the information they need to take them to the next stage and the opportunity to evaluate what is currently happening and what may be coming up in the future.

Wed 26th August  - Guidance Update and Support - It is anticipated that there will be a number of changes to guidance - via the Scottish Government route map and therefore our guidance - effective from the 24th August. This session will give you a chance to discuss how those changes may affect your club, organisation and centre.

RYA Census

As stated in the July 2020 blog, the RYA Census is now live in Scotland! The emails went out to Scottish Clubs on 3rd July 2020 (please contact us if your club has not received it or would like it resent). So far we've had 27 clubs start or complete the census so thank you!!

However, we still have a number who have not yet done so. We totally understand that due to Covid-19 and our coming out of lockdown that your attention may currently be drawn elsewhere, however, we are confident the results of the census will help you (and us) better understand the impact of Covid-19 on your club's membership going forward. You can use this link to complete the census and we'd encourage you to do so ASAP.

Affiliated Club Conference - Saturday 21st November 2020

Finally, we'd like you to put this date into your diary! This year we are linking up with the rest of the UK to run an online RYA Affiliated Club Conference. The main part of the event will take place on Saturday morning, finishing around lunchtime, however there will be the opportunity to attend other sessions, view video content and even book a slot with the team over the weekend. There will also be a number of workshops that can be booked for the weeks following the event. More information will be available soon!

We hope that you have managed to get a break/holiday during this manic time and that all is well at your club. Hope to see you soon, however in the meantime, please don't hesitate to get in touch for a chat or general check-in if we can help!

Take care and stay safe!

The Development Team, aka Robin, Jack & Liza