End of 2020
Firstly - I hope you all had a great Christmas.
Secondly, It has felt like bad news after bad news throughout 2020, so I wanted to post this now and hopefully only have good news to share in 2021. I have spoken with the head of facilities at the school and quite rightly so, they have made the decision to not open the school to any community bookings at the start of January. They have a provisional date of the week starting the 18th of January but as schools are now being delayed and Bedford is having to remain in tier 4 with infection rates constantly increasing that date may get pushed back even further.
I figured I would try and sum it all up as easily as I can so everyone is on the same page. While Bedford remains in tier 4, we will not return to basketball. Our bookings are secured but only once we enter tier 3 will we return to practise.
There is no leeway on this and to be completely honest, it's not even the school's fault. They are not allowed to open to the public under tier 4 restrictions even though the building is open for students.
I hope that at some point soon I will be able to announce our return date but, if I'm completely honest, looking at the news it may not be for a little while yet. I hope all the players are still able to find time to practise basketball on their own and until I see you all next, I hope 2021 is a better year and you all stay safe.
GIRLs Team Return to play
With the announcement made by the government about leaving lockdown from the 2nd of December a lot of people have got excited that basketball is returning. It SHOULD be, there are obvious hurdles of whether the government makes another u-turn on their decision, what Basketball England says, and what tier Bedford will be placed in.
I thought it would be a good idea just to update everyone on where we stand.
- Our bookings are in place with the school for a return to training at our regular sessions and times starting Saturday the 5th December onwards
- As parents have paid the November membership fees, there is no need to make a payment on the 1st of December and the standing orders can be reinstated for the 1st of January
- We were due to have a 2-week break over Christmas but we have decided to also train on the final week before Christmas so the players will get 3 sessions during December, I will update the TeamSnap schedule
- We take a 1-week break for Christmas and return to training on the week of the 2nd January which is a 5-week month and make up for the lost week
Q: How do the tiers affect training?
A: According to the government website, tiers 1 & 2 allow us to return to training following the guidelines we previously had in place. In the unlikely event that we are placed in tier 3 or that Bedford gets placed in tier 3 in the future, while the government states we can continue, I personally would not feel comfortable with the situation so will put a hold on practice. I hope you can understand why.
Q: If my child has to self-isolate do I pay less?
A: Unfortunately not, as our fees are memberships and not on a pay-as-you-go principle while training continues, membership fees would still need to be paid.
Q: When are leagues starting?
A: As far as I am aware, the national leagues will resume in January (still waiting for an official announcement from Basketball England) all local leagues are currently on hold.
Q: What if I have further questions?
A: Please feel free to message 'Coach David' or 'Coach Enrique' privately on TeamSnap and they will be more than happy to call you at a convenient time to discuss, thoughts, and ideas further.
Please accept our thanks for being so understanding in these difficult times. We're not ashamed to say that at this point we are literally just juggling this whole situation to the best of our abilities and making sure the players get to play the sport they love so much while also keeping everyone as safe as I possibly can.
Sooo looking forward to seeing everyone very soon!
GIRLs Team Membership Fees
We are now in a position to begin our payment process for players' membership fees. We did not charge for September as all parents had paid for March. The fees for this coming season are £20/month. Listed below are the 3 easy steps to set up payments.
What do I need to do?
- *FOR OCTOBER ONLY* Please make a one-off payment from your bank to Bedford Thunder by Friday the 16th of October
- Set up a Standing Order from your bank to Bedford Thunder to begin on the 1st November 2020
- Arrange the Standing Order to be made monthly on the 1st of every month going forward
Account Number: 36128568
Sort Code: 30-96-26
Reference: [your name]
Q: Can I pay with cash?
A: No - We are a cashless club. Please make all payments via Standing Order using the details above.
Q: Can I pay through Paypal or contactless payment?
A: No - In order to monitor our accounts we only accept standing orders into our club bank account.
Q: When do I pay if my child began training in September or October?
A: September - follow the steps above.
A: October - set up the standing order from the 1st of November.
Q: What if I paid more months than March?
A: Please check the number of additional months paid and message Coach Enrique, privately on Teamsnap who will confirm which date to begin your payments.
WE ARE BACK!!!!
As of Saturday the 12th of September, we are finally back to regular training (with different session times) at Bedford Academy. There are however a number of changes we have had to put in place to abide by the Government and National governing body regulations. But they are all adjustments to keep everyone safe. Please read carefully below the following steps.
These changes are mandatory and if they are not adhered to, it will mean players will unfortunately not be able to enter the sports hall. There are no exceptions to this as it is part of our risk assessment.
- We have added the schedule of training into the TeamSnap group. This also lets you know the new times of the sessions. U12 (School years 3-7) & U16 (School years 8-11)
- On the day of training, all players will need to mark themselves as attending the session and to complete the 'Health check' questions within TeamSnap, prior to attending. The health check goes live on the app from 08:30 AM.
- Players will not be able to enter the hall until 5 mins prior to their session time. We have created a 15-minute window between sessions for the coaches to clean the equipment and playing area. Players will need to remain in their car or wait along the side of the sports hall before entering (socially distanced).
- The main entrance will now be locked and our new entrance is through the first 'fire exit' door. Our exit will be the opposite fire exit door. At the end of the session, players will need to be collected promptly as the hall needs to be empty and cleaned before the next session can begin.
- Prior to entry, all players will have their temperature taken at the door. If their temperature is above 37.8, they will be unable to enter the sports hall.
- Throughout the session, we will be taking quick breaks to hand sanitise and clean the basketballs.
- The whole month of September has already been paid through your March payments. Please don't reinstate any standing orders as we will be shifting our payment process through TeamSnap in the near future. For those who have paid more than their March fees, you will be contacted through TeamSnap as to which month your payments need to be reinstated.
- Players will not be able to arrive at earlier sessions or stay for further sessions. Players can only be on the court for their designated session.
I am sure a lot of you are eager to get back to some kind of normality but as strict as all this may sound, I hope that everyone can understand the measures we are having to take to allow us back to training. This will be going on for the foreseeable future and It is vitally important to keep yourself updated on TeamSnap as this will also work as our Track & Trace system. TeamSnap has a lot to offer and we are going to take advantage of all of its features. If anyone is having problems with TeamSnap or would like some help using the app, please message me privately on the app or email email@example.com
Thanks and hope to see you all soon!!
Bedford thunder ADDITIONAL NOTES
- Parents will not be allowed to wait in the sports hall or in any other part of the school building during the session
- If the ‘Health Check’ questions on TeamSnap have not been completed prior to training, you will not be allowed to enter the sports hall.
- We will be limiting our sessions to 28 players max
- Players will be training in 2 bubbles (Groups) and will not be allowed to switch between bubbles.
- Sessions will still involve skills/team development, including scrimmages
Please bear with us while we transition back to regular training. I'm sure there will be areas to address as we get back on the court and we will look to fix those as and when they come up.
Teamsnap Availability & Health-Check
- Why do we have to wait outside of the venue until the start of the session? - Temperature checks need to be taken prior to entering the venue. Any player with a temperature above 37.8 degrees will, unfortunately, not be allowed to enter.
- What do I do if my child has come in contact with someone who has COVID symptoms throughout the week? - Please don't attend the session. Message one of the coaches through TeamSnap.
- What do you mean by bubbles? - The idea behind the bubbles is to break the session down into smaller groups. Each bubble will remain in their own half court of the sports hall. Should anyone show COVID symptoms during the week after the session, only those players within their bubble will need to be contacted.
- What do I do if I am not completely comfortable bringing my child along to a session? - Please do not attend, no one will be offended in any way and we would only want players to attend whos parents are completely happy with the safety measures we have put in place.
- Can I stay and watch my child train? - Unfortunately, the guidance does not allow spectators, which means only the players and coaches are allowed in the sports hall. That is in place for all age groups.
- Does my child have to wear a face mask? - That is completely up to the parent and player. Please be aware it is quite difficult to play sports while wearing a facemask.
- What do I do if I have any further questions? - Please message one of the coaches on TeamSnap who will be more than happy to give you a call.