Lockdown – Since permission was granted by the Government to re-open on Saturday 25 July 2020, the club has adopted a slow, steady and measured approach to a safe return to the gym for all our members. Throughout lockdown, we have delivered 292 Zoom classes, extensively trained staff on new safety protocols, updated risk assessments, produced a video of what training looks like on return and professionally developed our dedicated staff.
The safety, health and wellbeing of everyone are of paramount importance to Leeds Gymnastics Club. Our business, coaching and welfare teams have worked together to make extensive changes to the organisation of classes. A completely new timetable has been devised to ensure that we can maintain the necessary levels of social distancing and protect staff and gymnasts in all of our returning classes.
Re-Opening – Our squad groups recommenced on the 25 July. To protect against injuries the training hours were slowly increased. We would like to extend our appreciation to squad parents, who have worked with us to bring their children to classes with a constantly changing programme of days and times throughout July and August. We know this has been challenging for many of you, but it has allowed us to positively restart training and introduce our members back into the gym.
Unfortunately, our satellite venues at The Hub and John Smeaton have not reopened yet, which is disappointing for our gymnasts based in these sites. We are doing all in our power to restart these sessions and are working closely with Leeds City Council and Leeds Sports Development but are tied to their working timeframes.
Investment – During lockdown, the club invested in a new database system called Class4Kids. This has facilitated easier communications with our customers and we have slowly rebooked all existing club members into our new classes. We currently have 126 Gymnastics for All (GfA) classes per week, plus our squad programme. Our hard-working admin team has dealt with all enquiries, set up the invoices and restarted direct debits for all our customers.
Our first Saturday for GfA was 3 August when we were blessed with a gorgeous, hot summer’s day. We have received fabulous feedback from very happy parents using our car park drop off system and smiling gymnasts keen to be back in the gym. Our staff certainly earned their doughnut and ice-cream treats that day!
Customer Loyalty – We have focused on thanking our loyal customers by offering complimentary pre-school loyalty classes and proficiency camps plus 50% discounts off holiday camps. We are delighted that 190 gymnasts took up our free pre-school classes, 110 took up our offer of free proficiency camps and 300 children attended our discounted holiday camps. In total 600 gymnasts have enjoyed free classes or half-price holiday camps as a thank you from us for your financial support during lockdown
Pre-school Programme – A new initiative since lockdown has been organising transition camps to help settle our pre-schoolers moving into our after-school classes. This can be daunting as the children move to new coaches, even more so in the present climate. We are thrilled at how successful these have been and will repeat these next year.
The pre-school programme has been the last part of the jigsaw and we are just filling our remaining places on our extended pre-school programme. We are welcoming many new members to the club from Monday 7 September.
New Classes – We are introducing regular weekly Additional Needs classes
Financial stability – COVID 19 has had a detrimental effect on our profit and loss and our financial stability is of key importance as we move forward. The club is delighted that so many people have chosen to return to their classes and our income is slowly rising. Unfortunately, it will be many months until we can return to our pre Covid19 levels due to social distancing guidelines. This means many of our income-generating classes such as parents and tots drop-in, parties and school programmes are unable to run at the moment.
Also, we have had to replace our heating system at a cost of £12,500. We would like to thank our loyal supporters far and wide who contributed to our Go Fund Me appeal which raised over £4000.
Club Membership – We are mindful of the financial hardship many families are suffering and the uncertainty of the economy. Each year, club members are required to pay £20 per annum (bronze) or £59 per annum (competitive squad) to be a member of Leeds Gymnastics Club. As a “not for profit” organisation, this fee is key for the upkeep of the club. The money raised from membership is used to maintain and replace equipment as well as supporting staff education and development. We pride ourselves on the high standard of service we can deliver, which wouldn’t be possible without our membership fees – they are also ensuring our future survival.
In your October monthly invoice, you will find the membership fee has been applied and will be collected by direct debit on the 1st October 2020. (Pre-school paid their membership in the September term’s fees).
Over the next few months, we will work tirelessly to remain flexible in these challenging times and take all opportunities presented to us. It will not be possible to run Gymfest 2021 in January but we will be back – bigger and better in 2022. We will keep you updated on fundraising ideas and sponsorship opportunities for 2020 and throughout 2021.
In November we will be holding our AGM (more information to follow) and we hope you will take this opportunity to hear more about the club and our plans for its future.
We will strive to ensure that our club achieves its’ mission statement whilst remaining professional, financially secure and providing a safe and caring environment for your children.