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Light at end of COVID-19 tunnel for clubs

Posted: 11am 29 May 2020

The wellbeing of staff and members has been the number one priority for management of CSC Group since the COVID-19 pandemic began and it remains front-of-mind as they plan their reopening.

The group, made up of Caboolture Sports Club, North Lakes Sports Club and Centenary Lakes Sports Club and Function Centre was forced to close its venues in late March in line with government restrictions, affecting 300 staff and 70,000 members.

Although management was daunted by the process and the affect it would have on staff, the stand-down notice was issued and staff meetings were held on March 25.

CSC Group CEO Kelvin Patch says staff were given guidance on applying for Centrelink and offered other support services. But the message was clear - the clubs would reopen.

“The staff were our top priority and we decided to distribute free groceries to help them through this difficult time,” Kelvin says.

Team pulls together

Staff have stayed connected via Facebook groups, posting daily about what they’ve been up to at home, tips on how they’re remaining positive and active, as well as acknowledging birthdays, work anniversaries and other achievements.

And the management team has also been using this platform to share information as the situation unfolds, offering online training courses, and weekly competitions to keep staff entertained and motivated.

“Our North Lakes Sports Club Employee of the Year, Dustin Howes even posted to the staff Facebook group saying if any staff member was doing it hard, he was donating his $1,000 employee of the year prize money to anyone who may need help during this time,” Kelvin says.

The road to recovery

The CSC Group of clubs pays more than $10 million in wages every year and puts more than $1.9 million back into local sport and the community, but still has significant expenses while its venues remain closed.

With a strong balance sheet, it’s moving ahead to come out of the economic downturn but foresees it will take at least 12 months to fully recover.

It qualified for the JobKeeper scheme and payments commenced for 180 eligible staff in early April.

As a result, the club was able to offer new takeaway services at Caboolture Sports Club and North Lakes Sports Club, re-engaging 20-30 staff a week across the group. It’s a move members have backed, with more than 150 meals prepared on its first night at Caboolture Sports Club.

A skeleton staff of 6-8 managers are working with staff to provide the new takeaway and bottleshop services, while also preparing to reopen.

This is most likely to happen during stage 3 of Queensland’s Roadmap to Easing COVID-19 restrictions, unless capacity restrictions are significantly reduced before then.

Staff training is taking place to ensure they continue to provide a high level of service, with an emphasis on social distancing and hygiene practices.

Missing their members

In the meantime, the team has been phoning members who are at a higher risk to check on their wellbeing and ask if they need any additional support.

“It is vital that we remain front of mind and engaged with our members; that was one of the main drivers behind undertaking these new takeaway services and keeping in touch via phone, SMS, email and social media,” Kelvin says.

“We would like to thank all of our members for their continued support during these times.”

For more information about takeaway or bottleshop services, visit cabsports.com.au or northlakessports.com.au.

Want to know how you can support local businesses and the community during these tough times? Head to our blog.

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