April 2020 Club Circular

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Dear Members and friends,

 

Keeping you informed

It’s hard to believe it’s been a month since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. We have developed new routines, new ways of communicating at work and with family and in many cases a ‘new normal’. Now more than ever, we need to continue our efforts to help #STOPTHESPREAD. We also need to ensure we are caring for ourselves and our families, including our mental health. Get into a healthy routine, reach out to friends, families and co-workers, go for walks and exercise daily. And if you are feeling overwhelmed, reach out to us.  There are several Helplines and Services in place and the Health Authorities Helplines and Services.A ‘new normal’ is Working-from-home for those who may and have the amenities, food and groceries being delivered to your homes, purchasing stuff on-line, following the newsfeeds, dealing with ‘lockdown’, dealing with convid-19 and following the directives by our Health Authorities.  Frequent Hand-washing and Social Distancing have become the norm, let’s do our bit to help others. 

#STOPTHESPREAD follow the directives of the Health Authorities.

 

This year 2020

We have had a great loss at the start of this year; the passing of the Club Treasurer Adrian Farrugia, on 26th of January, 2020.

Adrian was a great asset to the Club ever so present. A man of more deeds than words and a most reliable treasurer.  He had a true love for water polo, first as a player then as an administrator and, more recently, as a most talented photographer taking poolside shots of most water polo games. He will be truly missed.

Our condolences go to Adrian’s wife and children.

 

Water polo

The year started off with the Enemed Cup 2020 where the Club players after a spell of training in January started to compete in the Enemed Cup which is normally a prelude, run in February, to the Winter League which was to run through March & April 2020.  The Boys were fairing well in their initial matches, with wins over Neptunes (9-8) and over Sliema (7-4); then towards beginning to mid-March the ASA under directives and recommendation from Sport Malta and the Health Authorities suspended all competitions and furthermore the total closure of the Pixxina following recommendations by the Health Authorities.

 

All ASA competitions as well as all other Sports in Malta were suspended indefinitely due to the convid-19 pandemic outbreak.

 

Following this and following the issuing by the Government of financial aid-schemes to counter the social and economic impact of this pandemic.  The ASA, like other sports organisations, lobbied to partake in these aid-schemes, and following discussions with the parties concerned and in liaison with the water polo Clubs and swimming associations, this was achieved and Clubs had to, like other business entities claim on these aid-schemes.  This was a time that the ASA along with the clubs went online to discuss and decide on these happenings.

 

As part of a proactive approach to water polo, the ASA have devised an ambitious plan to start the competitions, however, hopefully starting from one-month after the opening of the Pixxina; obviously with the go ahead from the Local Health Authorities. Hence if the Pixxina opens end of June, then one month is given for players to bring their fitness and stamina up to speed in July, for the League and competitions to start in August.  If the Pixxina would open at the end of July 2020, then this plan would slip by a month.  It is also planned that all competitions once the League is re-opened would not last more than end of October 2020.  The ASA with the Clubs are monitoring the situation and will adjust their plans according to circumstances, hence nothing is yet set in stone!

 

The Committee

The Exiles Committee through January and February met regularly bi-weekly on our meeting day, Mondays; however, when the social distancing and stay safe measures came into force during March we still met via Zoom-Conference-meetings. With the Government aid-schemes in place we had to get organised to discuss the issues involved and organise claims and arrangements with regards to our two full-time employees and part-timers, trusting that these claims go to fruition.

 

Obviously the Club revenue streams are currently also at a standstill, even though we as a Committee are attempting to mitigate these with some proactive thinking and planning, and with direct contact with the Ferretti Group.

 

Michael Paris has been appointed as Club Treasurer in Adrian’s stead, to take charge of Club Funds and Finances.

 

The Club had in late December 2019 acquired a Grant from Sport Malta and the Ministry of Energy & Water Management regarding – Energy Efficiency Interventions for Sports Organisations – and in February we had commenced to put into place some of the items in this grant; amongst which are the replacement of the Flood Lighting System and the Replacement of the Water Heating Systems at the Club; these however have been ordered but are awaiting clearance from the originating country to be shipped to Malta.  We can just wait.

 

Club Opening

Our traditional 1st of May Club opening unfortunately will have to be postponed to a later date for the opening of our Summer season; it is still premature and early to forecast any tentative dates, however we shall keep everyone informed.

 

The Bar and Restaurants at the Club premises are obviously closed, however, some initial maintenance works have been done, and hopefully some other works will happen in the months coming; however this is subject to the employees and resources that the Lessee, Ferretti Group, will have available, and able to work in these extraordinary times.

 

Initiative

As a first initiative, and to aid us in propagating out message to many more of our members and guests, can you pass the word around to your friends and other members who may have changed their email-address, and hence not received this communication.  So if anyone knows of any such change please ask these members, ex-members, alumni-members and guest-members to get in contact with anyone of the Committee (there is a list of Contact details of all Committee members at the end of this email). Or possibly sending also the mobile numbers of these persons (we may be considering creating a WhatsApp Group) so as to keep everyone informed.

 

There are also a few Members, ex-members, Alumni-members and guest-members who do not have email addresses and hence we communicate with these by mail.  If these have some relative or one of the existing members who can communicate with them, this would be just great; they possibly may have acquired an email address or mobile phone number onto which we may communicate with them too.

 

Conclusion

In concluding, I do apologise if a quick, short and concise newsletter (I was told to keep it short) ended up by being this 68 line communication  and hope it was not boring!

 

As we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, we remain committed to sharing information amongst ourselves and as members and guests of this club let us all keep high our noble and humane values of helping one another particularly in these trying times and for the health and safety of all.

 

#STOPTHESPREAD follow the directives of the Health Authorities.

 

Please send you communications to info@exiles.com.mt or to any of the Committee members in the list below.

 

Thanks & Regards,

Stay Safe, Stay Home

 

Mark Vassallo

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