It is with a heavy heart that I write this email, however I must announce the temporary closure of the Kingston & Elmbridge Snorkellers Club effective immediately.
This means that the session this Tuesday 17th March 2020 will no longer be going ahead, and no other sessions will occurr until further notice.
I have taken this decision after the Cobra Briefing announcement this evening, where the Prime Minister stated that all non essential social interaction should now cease, to prevent the spread of the virus.
I am in a difficult position in that I want the club to continue as normal, but due to the time restraints before our next session and the need to keep you all informed, I must close pending further advice coming forward.
I have spoken with the Pool, who are currently fully operational. However I was told that this may change tomorrow, after their management have a meeting. They have told me that the swimming club have decided to close pending further information too. So we are not alone.
I spoke with BSAC who unfortunately werent yet aware of the government position, so could offer no advice.
After speaking with my staff, and the leaders from the other two clubs in Surrey, I have decided that in the interim it is simpler to close pending more information. It is safer for everyone concerned, and at least ensures the club is doing its part to support the world wide effort.
The decision is going to have significant knock on effects. At this time, I am also going to have to cancel all open water training, and the clubs annual trip to Lulworth. This is bitterly disappointing to me. We have never cancelled these in club history (even when I broke both my legs we were still there), but the government has said this could extend well beyond 12 weeks, so realistcally it is not a good idea to plan an event which could cost a lot of money, which we may not get back. I can only presume that the Thames Boat Run will also be cancelled, and I will await an update from BSAC in due course.
I realise that schools are still open, and that this decision may sound a little knee jerk, but I have to unfortunately made the decision in the best interests of all concerned. Its likely I feel that we may find further changes by the end of the week. We will await this with interest.
I know some of you will also be concerned about pool fees. Unfortunately despite being closed I have to advise that we must still continue to collect club fees, as we will have to continue to pay the pool to hold our spot. As frustrating as this sounds, especially when I know many of you may be concerned about finances over any quarantine period, at this time I have no choice. If things change I will let you know.
In the interim, my staff and I will be trying to figure out how to continue engaging with the students while we are closed. I will endeavour to add things to the website, so please ask you children to register with the site so I can keep them all informed.
Thank you for your continued support and understanding. We hope to be able to update you further very soon.
Nick Stevens ASI 400