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Newsletter Issue 29

Good morning and welcome to our first day in Tier 2.

We’ve now had confirmation from the EIBA that, unless we are under 18 years of age, disabled or playing singles with a family member, we cannot bowl indoors. Obviously operating under these restrictions is not financially viable so we will have to remain closed.

However, we are very unhappy about this and Howard has written to Peter Thompson, the Chief Exec of EIBA detailing our concerns. A copy of the letter follows:

Good morning Peter,

This is neither a personal attack on you nor one on the EIBA; it is a plea for help.

I am asking for your help, Peter, in explaining to my members just what the rationale is for what is happening from today regarding the rules being applied to indoor bowling in Tier 2.

Just to confirm, indoor spectator sport is allowed, as is travelling on public transport, visiting a retail store and going to work (if you can’t work from home).

In all the above cases … Hands – Face – Space … is the mantra.

Space is defined by the government rules as follows…

Space: stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place (such as wearing face coverings)

When meeting people you do not live with, it is important to do so outdoors where possible, or to make sure that any indoor venue has good ventilation (for example by opening windows so that fresh air can enter).

Given the Covid secure measures we took during the first lockdown we were checked by our local authority and passed as Covid Secure. We then added a Covid secure winter bowling etiquette, that further enhanced an individual’s safety, plus we adopted the Rule of Six.

The club thrived after the 27th July reopening until forced to close in early November. No known cases of Coronavirus have affected club members and we have a playing membership aged 10 to people in their 90’s. To enhance our Covid secure preparedness, we initiated a new fresh air source system into the club during the second lockdown.

Now, your latest guidelines detail severe restrictions on ‘mixing’, to the point that normal bowling cannot go ahead and the club will have to stay closed until who knows when. We can have normal bowling for both disabled or under eighteen year olds, but not our general membership. Like most indoor clubs some of our older members live alone and the club offers something more important than gentle exercise; it provides company, conversation, laughter – all the things that help prevent mental isolation and the stress that brings to an individual.

What was the point of all the time, effort and cost of making ourselves Covid secure, and meeting all the current Space requirements that apply in other mixing scenarios, only to be informed now that Space in a bowling club is different from Space in spectator sport, travelling on public transport, visiting a retail store or going to work?

This is patently illogical and completely unfair. The negative impact on members’ mental and physical health is going to be horrendous. Please do not let this unjust ruling be the starting gun to the increasing rapid decline of our sport.

On behalf of all like-minded bowlers, please do your utmost to have a fair application of the national Space rules applied to indoor bowling and seek a change to EIBA guidelines from the very earliest date possible.

So, back to my plea for your help.

Can you please explain the rationale put forward by the Department for Sport, that you have accepted, for Space meaning different things in different indoor scenarios – to the total detriment of the sport of indoor bowls and the physical and mental health of all our members?

Thank you and stay safe

Howard

H Watkin-Jones, Chairman MidGlos IBC

We will keep you informed of the feedback to the letter and any changes which may occur in the future. In the meantime, look after yourselves and try to be positive. We are doing everything we can to try to change the decision made yesterday.

Kind regards

Linda

Linda Watkin-Jones.

Director (PR & Marketing)

9 replies on “Newsletter Issue 29”

Great letter, Howard! ??
After all the hard work and expense Midglos has put into making the Club COVID secure hopefully there will be a positive reply and we can get back to playing bowls. Thank you,
Rona?

Well done Howard, full marks in your efforts to repeal the decisions which appear to have gone against us. Keep up the good work and stay safe.

Thanks Linda for your updates, you’re doing a great job, stay safe.

Howard, an excellent letter putting forward positive facts, how can your points be ignored !
Many thanks to you both,
Kind regards,
Martyn and Wilma.

Thank you, Martyn.
The club and all the members mean a lot to us. Three years ago when we moved house, I was very lost. The club has been my lifeline and I will fight my hardest to maintain its existence. That is why, when the previous board stepped down, I felt I had to put something back and so I put my name forward for consideration.

Howard, your letter to Peter Thompson was very well put together and covered every aspect of the club’s preparation and implementation of the Covid safety guidelines set out by the Government. I suspect that the EIBA are as upset as we all are to have to issue this instruction but they are adhering to the latest government guidelines.
Maybe a letter to the Sports Minister might be appropriate, putting forward all the information you have given to the EIBA.
Many thanks for your efforts.

Well done Howard with your writing skills and commonsense you should be the one in charge and not just of our great club.Lets hope for some positive news
before we all go bananas.

Howard…we appreciate all that you are doing to get us back to bowling, and our thanks go to Linda for supplying us with all the latest info regarding the ‘club’. Hope you are both well.
John and Jean

Brilliantly put together Howard, well done, hope we get a positive response. too many businesses have had to call it a day this year, we do not want Mid glos to be one of them or any indoor bowls / sports clubs for that matter. all the best.

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