Posted on May 23rd, 2020 by John Armstrong
Thank you everyone who completed our survey on the club’s response to coronavirus. We received 44 responses.
Overall most people are very satisfied with the club’s response and our communications. Two people were “very dissatisfied” but one of them didn’t make any comments and the other made very positive comments, so I think this tells us more about the importance of naming your categories in a survey than it does about the club’s response to coronavirus.
There was lots of positive feedback on the online classes. I asked about the difficulty level, and it looks as though all the sessions are pitched about right. Some people commented to say how helpful they found the different options that Danielle and Nicola offer so that everyone is catered for.
Many people commented to say how grateful they are for the efforts that Danielle and Nicola have made and suggested they should be rewarded in some way.
We (the committee) agreed before organizing these sessions that we should let those leading the sessions choose whether they wish to do so on a voluntary basis or whether they would like to be paid. Nicola decided that she would lead the first four sessions on a voluntary basis and has been paid for subsequent sessions. Danielle has so far decided that she wants to run her sessions on a voluntary basis. Alicia is not a club member and is working on a professional basis. All our usual running coaching done on a voluntary basis, but that situation is very different as the club pays for people to qualify as coaches and we see providing opportunities for people to train and work as volunteer running coaches as one of the core roles of our club, It goes without saying that we greatly appreciate the superb sessions all our online trainers are putting on and we fully respect their different situations.
Some people said that they would be interested in having more classes. The committee feels that three classes a week is the most the club should provide. However, if you are interested in having more sessions with Danielle, Nicola or Alicia I suggest you get in touch with them and see what they can do. For example, I believe that Danielle is offering other paid-for Zoom Pilates classes.
Some people have also suggested that we should keep the classes going once lockdown is eased. This is definitely something we will look into in the future, but it doesn’t seem the right moment to make any decisions on this.
42% of respondents plan to use Parliament Hill track if it re-opens. The heath authorities have indicated that it will reopen shortly.
22% of respondents have followed one of Donal’s fartlek sessions.
There is a general appetite for us to put together some training plans for (hypothetical) autumn races. We need to have a think about how best to do this, but we will put something together and will include some track options when we do this.
One person said: “The club should have been at the forefront of lobbying parliament hill track to stay open rather then the opposite, it’s a safe space for people to run.” I’m the club’s coaching coordinator, so I can give a bit more detail on the discussions we have had.
- Before lockdown started, but when social distancing was advised, I contacted the heath to encourage them to keep the track open for as long as possible each day so it was easier for people to social distance and to see if there was any possibility of our members getting some form of discount on paying to access. They left the track open for about one week, without charging.
- During lockdown, the government’s restrictions meant that the track was compelled to close. People continued to use it, but the heath authorities did not feel it could employ people (and risk their health) simply to chase them away. They asked us to communicate to our members that the track was closed, and I was happy to do this.
- In that first week of social distancing, the track started being used by all sorts of people inappropriately: cyclists, dog walkers, children playing in the sand pits etc.. In the view of the heath authorities it was becoming unsafe to train at the track, and I agree with them. As a result, they will only reopen once they have sorted out ticketing and supervision of the track. They are working to do this as rapidly as possible. They plan to provide a range of lengths of season tickets with a club discount.
I personally feel that we have worked constructively with heath authorities to keep the track open as much as possible, but I think that they are absolutely right to not do anything that might put people in danger.