1 year ago, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that from midday on Monday 23rd March 2020, all pubs, registered and licenced clubs and hotels, were to close for an anticipated period of up to six months.
2020 was a year like no other, and whilst it’s easy to focus on the challenges endured, it’s not what Parra Leagues is about.
We want to highlight the underlying resilience of the Paramatta Leagues Club. The way our employees lifted in the face of adversity and the wonderful initiatives the Club undertook during this challenging period.
Parra Leagues has always put our people and our community first, and that has never been more evident than during 2020.
Support was provided directly to some of clubs devastated by drought and bushfires such as
Moruya Golf Club
Tura Beach Country Club
Eden Fishermen’s Recreation Club
These venues housed evacuees in their club houses, carparks and greens, as they remained closed during what should’ve been their busiest trading period. Donations were also made to the Cobargo and District Emergency Hay Fund and through the Parramatta Eels. The Parramatta Leagues Club Group donated over $123,000 to these worthy causes.
Then on 23 March 2020, our doors closed!
For the first time in Parra Leagues history, its doors were closed for an anticipated six months, and the once bustling home of the Eels was now empty…
Whilst all employees were uncertain about the future and how they would adapt to life without work, everyone pulled together and both venues were emptied of cash and perishables. They were secured and a maintenance schedule was put in place, all within a single day.
All perishable food in the Club at the time of the shutdown was donated to long time community partner Parramatta Mission. A few weeks later the Club responded to a request from another long-time community partner Northcott for contributions of hand sanitiser dispensers and gel.
When the JobKeeper scheme was announced, Parramatta Leagues Club moved quickly to ensure all eligible employees were registered for the scheme and provided meaningful work for those employees. Staff were employed to contact vulnerable Members and over 2,750 conversations were had with appreciative Members. Additionally, a total of 119 care packages were delivered to those in need of support during this difficult time.
Apart from the devastation of COVID, isolation was the main grievance of those Members we were in contact with. We heard their concerns and sprung into action.
The team quickly moved to launch online promotions as a means of engaging our Members and the community. We launched online raffles, bingo, trivia and a weekly Members Forum, we even ran an online colouring competition and gave away Easter egg hampers.
There were 651 unique individuals who had played our online promotions by 31 October 2020. Another initiative was to launch the “Bring your Club Home” takeaway and delivery service for our local community, offering Club food and beverage favourites including Jacks beer cans, conveniently delivered to those patrons who did not want to venture out. These were personally delivered by Parra Leagues staff.
During the closure we also worked to engage our employees via Customer Service training, upskilling our Duty Mangers in the Diploma of Leadership, and conducting club-wide zoom meetings with the Leadership Team.
Then without notice, the NSW Government allowed us to open, at first with 10 patrons for food and beverage, and with the Board’s endorsement, Vikings Sports Club was one of the first clubs to reopen.
We were then told that 1st June 2020 would be the day we could all reopen.
We deep cleaned, rostered staff and were excited to see the lines of people at 9am on Monday 1st June 2020.
We have continued to go above and beyond NSW Health advise to ensure that our Members and our community are safe. We led the way with thermal scanning and temperature checks, we utilised UV lights to sanitise EGMs and high touch point areas, and in addition to the daily cleaning regime we continue to deep clean your Club three days a week including fogging, to keep our community safe.
As at 31 October 2020 we had invested over $270,000 in COVID Safety, used 940L of sanitiser, over 30,000 wipes and over 70,000 facemasks.