Just to keep you up to date and informed of forthcoming activities and requirements. The committee met yesterday ( it was nice to see everyone, even if only remotely) and some decisions were made.
We are expecting a review on 'status' on 2nd December. Until we have the outcome of that review, I cannot confirm a return to swim date. As soon as I have any further information on this I will get back to you. However, we will not be returning until at least Monday 7th December. This is because I am not available on Sunday 6th December, and rather than trying to find cover teachers at very short notice, it makes more sense to just return on the Monday, assuming the lockdown is lifted sufficiently for the pool to reopen.
However, please note that the rules as before still apply - arrive swim ready, no use of toilets until 15 minutes after the session has started, social distancing on poolside, no parents or spectators on poolside, do not attend if you have any form of illness, shower at home, avoid using the changing rooms as much as possible, use the side door, wipe your feet and remove shoes at the door, there is a limit on the number of people allowed on poolside, so one group may have to wait until the previous group have left the poolside before being granted access, no sharing of equipment, no sharing of resources such as toys, goggles, hats etc. Full list of rules are on the web site along with the risk assessments.
Please note - there is still some building work taking place at the Morris Centre, so please do not walk mud onto the poolside.
As per the previous lockdown Swim England insurance requirement, before anyone can return to the pool, a new health form/declaration will need to be completed. I do not yet have the new form, but I will upload to web site and it will be emailed out as soon as it is available. You will not be able to return to swim until that form has been completed and returned. Sorry, it not just Birmingham Marlins being difficult, it is a requirement from Swim England in line with Covid requirements set by government. From what I understand, the form should be available from Friday this week.
This camp currently is still going ahead although again we have to be guided by Swim England on this. I have been in touch with the accommodation and transport, and the bookings are secure. Currently I have been unable to contact the pool, probably because Wales has only just come out of their lockdown. No one can really predict what will happen in February at this time but as it stands currently, we are still planning on going.
Final payment for Llandudno. Those of you with a confirmed place for this camp, will be aware that the final payment is now due. However, the following options are now available to you.
We do have some contigency plans in place if come February, we are unable to attend but at this time, I very optimistic that it will run. I still have a couple of spaces if anyone else if interested in attending due to some drop outs ( totally understand that people drop out)
Your membership and SE fees for 2021 are due for payment by 1st January 2021. I know that is very bad timing and no one likes to pay a fee at the beginning of the year, especially with the stop/start year we have had.
We are going to try and make it as easy as possible for you. (Anyone who was a previous member of other swimming clubs will know that it can be complicated process so we are going to try and avoid all that)
There will be a link on the web site very shortly, very similar to a shopping basket when you do online shopping. You follow the shopping basket to pay your fees.
Unless you have received a personal email from me, all swimmers are being registered as Catagory 1 ( non competitive). We have the option at any point during the year, to upgrade swimmers to competitive status (catagory 2) for those who wish to compete. However, there is no competition calendar available at the moment and I personally, cannot see why swimmers should be paying a higher level fee (of more than £18 per person over and above the catagory 1 fee) for a service that is currently not available. Therefore, we are only asking you to pay the minimum for your insurance and our affiliation costs.
If you are on the para classification listing, please note, you must renew fees at category 2, as otherwise you will dropped off the list. However, there are currently no plans in place for any classifications to take place in 2021, so it's your choice, but just be aware that you will lose your place on the list if you only renew at catagory 1.
Fees must be paid by 1st January 2021.
There will shortly be a link to enable payments for T shirts, swim bags and other items. Basically a shopping basket that will allow for swift payments. We also have a card reader available for those who wish to pay by card on poolside.
We have some payments outstanding for T Shirts and other items. Can you please ensure that you have paid for the items you have received.
Currently all Direct Debit payments have been stopped, so no one is paying any monthly fee at all. It has been decided at Committee level not to re start any payments until at least January 2021. Therefore, if we do open again ( and keeping fingers crossed) then you will have the opportunity to swim for at least some sessions without incurring a charge or fee. This will be our end of year/season gift to you, assuming we manage to achieve some swimming before the end of the year (very much depends on Boris)
Those of you who have been swimming with me for many years, will know that I usualy throw an 'end of year party' and fun sessions etc. This is not allowed under restrictions so it cannot take place. However, the Committee agreed that should the opportunity arise in 2021, then we can look at holding a suitable event that everyone can be invited to.
Every year around this time, we have the Birmingham Marlins raffle. We usually have around 6 hampers for individuals to win. I am aware that it is difficult to purchase raffle tickets when we are not at swimming, but we are still trying to hold this raffle. We would like some donations for the hampers please (child/teenage friendly so no alcohol please) and we would also like you to purchase and try and sell some tickets for this. Tickets are £1 per strip. If you can refer to our Facebook page, there will hopefully be some details on there, on how to help with this.
Please note, Alex our treasurer, as much as he enoys having donations, does not really want £1 here and £1 there under bacs payments for raffle tickets.
Please use Easy Fundraising for our online shopping. We have received our first payment of £34.50 (and there's more on the way) from Easy Fundraising and currently there are only 9 people signed up for this. We have a membership of 100+ people, so please, use the link before doing any online shopping. It does not cost you anything at all, and everyone raises just £1, then it gives us the opportunity for another two hours pooltime.
The information is on the web site on how to use this. Please share the link with your friends and family as well, as every penny counts. (I am using the link for ordering consumables at work as well)
Every year, usually at the end of year party, I give out 3 awards. The awards are based on achievements, commitments, recognition of hard work, attendence at training, and other reasons. They are
These awards will still be taking place, however, I have not yet decided how/when I will make the announcements. I am waiting to see if we are back at the pool, and if so, I will make the announcements then. The Head Coach decision is final and not open for discussion.
However, I am also going to introduce a new award mainly to recognise that Birmingham Marlins is a new club and we have had a few hurdles to get over this year, and it is has not been an easy ride for anyone involved in the management of the club. I am not saying other clubs have not similar difficulties, but to open a new club in the middle of a pandemic was a challenge to say the least. But we did it and we are running successfully and I would like to think very happily.
The new award can be given for any reason that shows that the individual has gone over and above, either through their swimming, their helping, their teaching, their fund raising, or any other reason. It will be annual award and given at the same time as the above three awards. I am going to call this award - The Dave Award. We would not be up and running without our chairperson so therefore, I have named the award after him. The award this year is going to be decided by the chair person at the club and again their decision is final.
We have now achieved this status - thank goodness. It was very hard work, quite complicated, probably more complicated than it needed to be, but we have got there.
We are now working towards Swim Mark, which will open up more funding avenues for us, and further staff training opportunities.
Just a reminder to those people undertaking the lifeguarding course, there is a session tomorrow (Sunday 22nd) at 6pm. You have been emailed with the link.
Those swimmers who are returning home from being at University or Fellowship members, you are welcome to join us again for training as soon as we open, until such a time that you return to Uni.
Take care everyone and stay safe, I would like all my swimmers back in one piece please.
I will be in touch again shortly with return to swim dates. Please refer to the web site as well for latest information, I do not always have time to send out an email, so I will put notices on the web site as and when necessary.
Head Coach, Birmingham Marlins