How are you? First and foremost, I send this note to you in the hope that you are all staying safe and keeping well.
These are difficult, unprecedented times for everyone, providing an unfortunate amount of uncertainty, sometimes at home and very much in the workplace.
Thoughts and very best wishes are with our event organisers who have had to cancel or postpone competitions due to the coronavirus pandemic and its widely damaging fall-out. Next month should have been the first Badminton in her role as director for the wonderful Jane Tuckwell and her team, but alas, it was not to be. Other high-profile events such as Chatsworth and Bolesworth have also been hit, and I know that so many others with competitions later in the year are left with little option other than to play a waiting game. And, of course, it will now be 2021 before we see the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Also, these are very tough times for show centres across the disciplines – the lifeblood of our sport – that provide facilities and activity for young and old, grassroots to professional. We are thinking of you all, and fervently hope for better times ahead.
Some of the BEWA membership will now be familiar with the word “furlough” – otherwise known as the government’s jobs retention scheme – while I imagine that others of you as freelances will have possibly experienced a slow-down or cessation of work. To this end, I enclose a link to the excellent Sports Journalists’ Association website and some of the excellent advice they are currently providing for freelances, and whilst I don’t pretend to be a furlough expert, as someone currently on it I have learnt a great deal in the past fortnight and would be happy to share my experiences or advice where I can. My email and number is at the bottom of this note.
Your committee will be catching up via some kind of mind-boggling, technical, telecomms way in the next few weeks – over to you Amy! – when we will discuss a number of subjects, including our early thoughts on the 2020 BEWA lunch and awards. Our plan is very much to go ahead and build on the great success of last year’s event – and once again, I thank you for your continued amazing support – during Olympia week and stage our annual get-together in December. But, as I am sure you will all understand, we are unable to set anything in stone at this stage. I will update you once the committee has met, and rest assured, we will do everything we can to make it happen.
In the meantime, please stay safe and well, very best wishes to you and your families, and if any of you just fancy a chat – who knows, we could even discuss our virtual Badminton top three! – please feel free to call me.