UPDATE FROM THE CEO & CHAIRMAN
The Equestrian WA Board would like to update our Members and Affiliated Clubs of the impact the COVID-19 crisis is having on our Sport regarding the "now" and our plans for the "future" when we can restart our vibrant Equestrian Sport.
The current suspension of all Equestrian Sport has resulted in events scheduled through to the end of June being cancelled. EWA will work closely with the Sports Committees and Clubs to amend the schedule of the events once we gain permission to restart. The restart will likely need to be small local events, building to the larger ones as restriction eases.
EWA is pleased to report that with the support of the McGowan Government through the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries' (DLGSC) Minister Mick Murray, we are in the process of repurposing much of the current grants to support all operational cost of the State Equestrian Centre for the remainder of this year. This is a 'lifesaver' for the SEC and EWA giving time for us to review future SEC management and funding options following a report commissioned late last year to be finalised in late April.
The financial impact on EWA in 2020 is substantial with projected income falling to $930,000 compared to $2,340,000 in 2019. With many expenses fixed the financial strain on EWA is considerable. To control all expenses the SEC had been closed until we can restart events and all non-essential service contracts have been cancelled. This includes all outdoor areas, even for 'Park and Ride', as we do not have the staff to check that everything is safe for people to come onto the property. We understand the inconvenience this places on our members and the wider community; however, this decision has been made with everyone's safety in mind.
At its most recent Board meeting, it has been determined that due to the severe financial strain we are going through that no EWA Members funds would be used to sustain the SEC. This will no doubt speed up the process of restructuring the Facility and its operation going forward.
Lotterywest is in the process of finalising several COVID-19 grants to support organisations such as EWA, and we are working with the DLGSC to apply for these grants once they are released.
The introduction of the Federal Government's JobKeeper program has enabled all EWA and SEC to be placed on the JobKeeper payments with our staff members either being stood down or working reduced hours in keeping with the payment. During this period, the staff members on reduced hours will continue to support our members and work with our Sport committees in planning for the future.
The COVID-19 pandemic will pass, and Equestrian Sport will recommence, however, our focus now is to ensure that there will be some funding assurance to work with members and Sport committees to plan for the possible future with all new opportunities, both during the current phase and when we can once again compete on our beautiful equine partners.
COVID-19 INFORMATION FOR EQUESTRIAN SPORT
Did you know that Equestrian Australia have set up a dedicated COVID-19 information page on their website?
It's full of the latest news, updates and relevant links for those involved in equestrian sport. The page is updated almost daily with releases and info as soon as it comes to hand.
Check it out here
GRANTS OPEN FOR CLUBS AFFECTED BY RECENT BUSHFIRES AND OTHER NATURAL DISASTERS
The Sport Recovery Grants will be focusing on the organisations and community members who have been affected by the recent bushfires – or in different parts of the country, floods or other disasters - and require assistance to resume playing sport in their community.
Suggested grant values are up to $20,000, and priority will be given to applications from volunteer run organisations.
We know that natural disasters have a huge impact on the mental health and resilience of affected people and communities. We also know that sport plays a significant role in fostering positive mental health and rebuilding community and individual resilience – by bringing people together through a shared interest, and by encouraging healthy physical activity.
Of course, we understand that much of community sport is currently suspended due to the impact of COVID-19, but sooner or later we will all be able to get back on the track or our playing field of choice, and the Alliance wants to help make sure that affected communities and clubs are ready to meet this need when that time arises.
Find out more here
THE SCALE OF COVID-19 IMPACTS ON WA COMMUNITY SPORT
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the lives of people around the globe, the disruption to community sport in Western Australia has been far-reaching and is likely to greatly impact the physical, mental and social wellbeing of our community.
A recent survey of SportWest members confirms that over 850,000 people directly involved in community sports in WA have had their lives dramatically impacted by Covid-19.
"There are now over 40,000 community sports matches not proceeding, which translates to more than 700,000 participants inactive and around 100,000 administrators and volunteers sitting idle. West Australians have lost – at least in the short term – the much-valued community connections that sport regularly provides", said SportWest CEO Rob Thompson.
Click here to read full media release
MESSAGE FROM SPORT & RECREATION MINISTER MICK MURRAY
As you may have heard, Premier Mark McGowan yesterday announced a $159 million COVID-19 Relief Fund to provide urgent financial relief for eligible not-for-profit sports, arts and community organisations.
An initial $59 million will be available for crisis and emergency relief support for eligible not‑for-profit and community organisations to assist with costs related to increased demand for food, clothing, shelter and other critical needs.
This funding will also provide urgent financial relief for not-for-profit sports, arts and community organisations experiencing hardship as a result of cancelled events. It will compensate for cancellation costs, lost revenue and incurred or committed operational costs associated with the cancelled event.
Click here to read full message