June 12, 2020 - 7 months ago
After 89 days in isolation, I can tell you that we are beyond happy to have a start date for our return to leagues.
Back in March when we decided to pause all leagues, like everyone, we faced a very uncertain future. But we did what we know best, we stayed busy and we kept working towards keeping our members engaged.
In the months of March and April we worked on finding new ways to keep our members busy. We ran a Bingo Challenge which was a chance to keep people testing their skills, and staying active. We also introduced e-Leagues, which are still running today and will continue to remain a part of our services. We tried to promote Play Vouchers, and also used this product to give away some special vouchers to deserving front line staff. We also ramped up our social media, including investing in Tik Tok, not only is it creating more engaging content for you, it's helped keep us happy and distracted as a team.
We continued to stay connected with our Event Hosts. We ran an "Ideapalooza" in April that was essentially and online drinking event. We had so many hosts online and we excitedly got lots of feedback from the "frontline". In April we also introduced The Event Host Hall of Fame which is for the influential hosts of our time, past and present.
As we entered into May we started looking at what we could do to make our members experience better. Some of our ideas have flopped, and some we are yet to learn the success off. We started by running a member survey which helped uncover some really interesting stats about you guys. How you communicate, what you like what you don't. But from there we decided to build, and improve and update a lot.
- We went to each of our partners and got access to "lockdown friendly" perks which included access to some new deals at our partner clubhouses, and also our Tennis and Golf facilities.
- We added a new member perk for individual players by offering a seasonal subscription, allowing them to play in new teams for free by using our "UR Draft".
- We programmed and hosted Sports Training Events which we are currently running while the public orders allow. These events are run wither for free, or a small fee for any of our members looking to stay active while we wait for leagues to launch. We are undecided on the future of this programming, but if the demand is there, we would continue to offer this as an add on.
- We created and trained 40 staff on how to host and run sports in the new Covid-Clean world, we created a new essential training program and we continue to roll out educational pieces for our members. There's going to be some fundamental changes to our kit maintenance, and your responsibility upon arrival at your games to enable us to do contact tracing and ensure your safety.
- We conceptualised a brand new ambassador program which will be rolled out at the end of the year, which will see thousands of dollars go towards making sport accessible to all Aussies, including the minorities. Once announced, this means a percentage of every registration will be going directly to an association to help meet our main objectives as a club.
- We introduced a new first point of contact for welcoming new members to help guide them through the decision making process when choosing a sport, a location and league that suits them.
- We revisited the criteria for recruiting Event Hosts who are your main point of contact each week. We wanted to make sure we are selecting the most invested, reliable, knowledgeable and likeable people we can.
With all these new perks and additions in mind, we are excited for the end of 2020 and all that we hope to offer. We are now looking to run some big corporate tournaments, as well as our regular flagship social events in the Spring time.
For the remainder of 2020, we will rely heavily on our existing teams and members, as our marketing budget is decreased, and we turn to our members having the best experience possible, and word of mouth doing the heavy lifting.
The end of this year should see the Ambassador Program launching, and hopefully some new Pub Leagues, new events announced, and new ways for you to pay.
As a club we would like to continue our expansion though Sydney. We would like to see our leagues in The Hills and North Shore continue to grow, and we are actively seeking new opportunities in the South, and South-west areas of Sydney. Our club was on track to grow 100% this year, but our current forecast would be to simply meet the same amount of leagues and teams playing as we had in 2019.
We anticipate 2021 to show more consistent growth and we would be looking to launch into new cities throughout that year.
It's with a ton of proactive thinking and a lot of financial planning, that we are able to land on our feet with all our staff on salaries protected. Although we know the ramifications of Covid-19 could still be fierce, we feel we are so equipped and so ready to take on the responsibility of getting you back into sport safely.
Yours in sport,Learn More
June 10, 2020 - 7 months ago
Updated Wed 10 June, 2020 at 3:40pm
WED 10 JUNE (LEAGUE RE-START DATE ANNOUNCED): Today’s good news delivered by our acting Minister of Sport Dr, Geoffrey Lee is that senior community sport can begin on July 1, 2020. Phew. What a relief.
The Public Health Order needs to be updated, and our venues need time to re-open. With the lead time considered, we anticipate most of our leagues will recommence from July 1 onwards.
Our staff will be in touch over the coming weeks to confirm the schedule for our Summer leagues and again update the start dates for our Comeback Seasons. Our Sports Training Events will continue to run for the remainder of June. More to come.
WED 3 JUNE – 30 JUNE (LEAGUES CONTINUOUSLY PAUSED): Yesterday we welcomed the information that gyms, pools, saunas, studios and the like can open on June 15. We also welcomed the timeline announcing that junior sport can begin, but disappointingly, we as adults of NSW who play sport, were left without any information. We currently have no timeline, but it looks like we will not be able to schedule leagues this month.
Although this is not Urban Rec's fault, we can't help but feel bad for not being able to provide a service you wanted back in March. So we have added eLeagues and FreePlay Sports Training events for a way to keep you active and social for the remainder of this month.
Our Managing Director has also written a letter to the members, you can read that here. We are fighting to get a timeline, a date, some direction for our members.
Updated Thu 14 April, 2020 at 12noon
THU 14 MAY – MON 25 MAY (LEAGUES CONTINUOSLY PAUSED): Urban Rec continues to pause all leagues and events at this time.Recent goverment announcements have started to lift restrictions. In NSW we are moving to stage 1 from Friday May 15, 2020. Stage 1 still restricts community sport from operating, though sports training for groups of under 10 in outdoor areas is permitted. The goverment is set to review the progress of Stage 1 in 3 weeks. At that time, if we do move to stage 2, we will be able to commence leagues with obvious restictions and updates to our policies, including the introduction of a new Covid Clean Policy.
We are also following the Australian Institute of Sport Framework for Rebooting Sport which follow stages A. B and C as a guildine for individual sporting codes.
Our Comeback seasonal start dates have been adjusted with these time frames in mind, with most of this season starting in July to allow enough time for our currently paused seasons to commence and finish. If you have any questions about your teams situation, please send us an email.
Updated Wed 1 April, 2020 at 7am
WED 1 APRIL – THU 14 MAY (LEAGUES CONTINUOSLY PAUSED): Todays announcement should come as no suprise that leagues continue to be paused at Urban Rec. We want to assure all teams that our plan is to continue to run leagues, once the government feels it is safe to do so. Our next update will be at the beginning of May. We have tentatively announced our next season start dates to happen in June, with the hopes to complete our Summer season as soon as possible. We have also updated our refund policy to help explain our position in this horrible time. Our members support during this period means everything.
Updated Tue 17 Mar, 2020 at 1pm.
TUESDAY 17TH MARCH – SUNDAY 5TH APRIL (LEAGUES PAUSED): Today, we had to make the devastating decision to pause all leagues and events for Urban Rec in Sydney, Canberra and Newcastle. This decision comes in light of the current situation with the coronavirus COVID-19, and our deepest desire to do what is morally correct for our members and the community. We will be sending out communication to all our members on Wednesday, 01 April updating everyone of the situation at that time.
It goes without saying that our HQ team here in Sydney - Mads, Linds, Danny and Raj - are deeply saddened by the news that we will not be seeing your smiling, cheerful faces at our leagues over the next few weeks. We will be working diligently in head office (or from a home office) think-tanking and brainstorming how to make your experience absolutely exceptional when we are able to welcome you back and start social sport again!
Updated Mon 16 Mar, 2020 at 1pm.
MONDAY 16TH MARCH (LEAGUES GOING AHEAD): If you have been travelling overseas as of midnight last night, you should be self quarantining for 14 days and and we ask you to not attend any of our leagues. At this stage, government has not closed schools or universities, but is asking all non-essential organised sporting events above 500 people to be cancelled. As our leagues and events have on average, about 30 people in attendance, we do not feel it is necessary to cancel these leagues or events.
Updated Fri 13 Mar, 2020 at 5pm.
FRIDAY 13TH MARCH (LEAGUES GOING AHEAD): Today our Government announced advice to cancel gatherings above 500 people (this is not a ban). At this stage, they have not advised the general public to stop their usual activities like going to work, grocery shopping and attending recreational activities. With precautionary measures in place, Urban Rec activities will go ahead as scheduled and all Urban Rec policies will remain in effect including the default and refund policy.
UNDER WHAT CIRCUMSTANCES WILL LEAGUES BE PLACED ON HOLD? If the situation becomes extreme, and small gatherings are banned (or advised to cancel) by our government. If our venues decide to close If we are seeing a mass amount of forfeiting games, we may decide to pause leagues. In any case, if we do decide to pause leagues, we will ensure your games are played when it is safe and appropriate to do so. We will reschedule (not cancel) your games. WHAT IF YOU DON’T WANT TO PLAY AT THE MOMENT? That’s completely your choice, and completely acceptable. Please work with your team Captain and let them know. If your team does not have enough players, and wishes to forfeit your game, please contact us ASAP [email protected] (Forfeiting a game, means telling us with enough time to notify the opposition, please don’t leave it to the last minute and leave your opposition hanging – a default.
June 3, 2020 - 8 months ago
Yesterday we welcomed the information that gyms, pools, saunas, studios and the like can open on June 15. We also welcomed the timeline announcing that junior sport can begin, but disappointingly, we as adults of NSW who play sport, were left without any information. We currently have no timeline, no plan, no idea.
I am so disappointed. I am so sorry. We are ready to start, our staff are trained, our policies are completed, our equipment is clean, and our systems for monitoring attendance are better than many.
I am so sorry that we don't have more clear information from the NSW Government. I know over the next month you are going to become agitated as you start to notice your life going back to normal, but realise your sport registration remains tied up.
Our business is supporting our full time staff best we can - with and without government support - and I am nervous. I am nervous that we will be delayed till it's too late. I also want to get our Event Hosts back, they need us too.
Although this is not Urban Rec's fault, I can't help but feel bad for not being able to provide a service you wanted back in March. So I invite you to join our eLeagues and FreePlay Sports Training events for a way to keep you active and social.
I have contacted Dr Geoff Lee (Acting Minister for Sport Twitter, Facebook, Email), and Brad Buzzard (Brad Hazzard NSW Minister for Health Twitter, Email) who were in charge of making this decision. If your weekly community sport means enough to you, please send them an email, let them know you want information. Maybe they will change their mind, or maybe they will give us a date too.