Your Sailing Club Needs You
As you will all know, so far this year, we are experiencing an unprecedented situation within our lifetimes. It's certainly not the subject that I was hoping to be writing about as a Rooster Ambassador! I thought it would be all about being late to the startline, capsizes and kit reviews.
However, due to the Coronavirus lockdown restrictions, and as with most everywhere else, our club and harbour facilities are closed to the public.
My club of Penzance SC is nestled in the corner of Mount's Bay, Cornwall, UK, home to St Michael’s Mount, and although the ideal form of ‘social distancing’ would be to jump in the dinghy and set out for a sail around the mount on the evening spring tides, we have been told this is not allowed. (Despite there being the longest spell of warmest, sunniest and driest weather here for months).
So what's the best thing we can all do? Well, our priority is to carry out your Government's advice and stay at home, keep yourself safe and well, and don't spend too much time outside. The other thing you can do is to help your club survive from home. But how?
Financially, the Coronavirus has come at the worst time of the year, your club has probably not had any real income since Christmas and new year, as it still has all of the expenses of clubhouse repairs, ground tackle and turning mark maintenance, as well as safety boat servicing, insurance costs, harbour mooring fees, and now possible council tax and rent bills. However, to ease the pain, some clubs have been awarded a £10,000 government grant, so please make sure that if your club Treasurer can claim it, or any local assistance grants, do so.
The things we members can do to support your club are:
By paying your membership and pen fees where applicable to ensure your club has the funds in place to be financially supported IF you can afford to. Some clubs have cut the cost of their memberships this year to help members with this.
Volunteer: If you have the necessary skills that may be useful in dinghy and safety boat repairs, clubhouse DIY, and have time to spare after the lockdown is over, then get down to your club, this will help cut it's maintenance costs.
Be inventive: Think of other ways of keeping the members engaged and feel included during this lockdown, particularly the elderly ones. At PzSC, we have set up a virtual clubhouse on Facebook, for our members to post pictures of the good old days! After lockdown, maybe run open days, boat jumbles, music nights, talks about local sailor's epic voyages or technical talks for racing or rigging. All of these increase awareness of your club, it's facilities and raise it's income.
Remember, your club needs it's members now to help protect it for the future.
Let's hope this doesn't last long so we can go sailing!
Nick Downing, Rooster Ambassador. PzSC