As we’re in week 4 of the lockdown, I thought it was time for an update on where Waikato Bay of Plenty Football (WaiBOP) is as a business.

Like the rest of New Zealand, we have been in lockdown and staff have been working from home. We successfully applied for the initial government wage subsidy and subsequently started a consultation process with staff as to how the months of April, May and June will work.

What was proposed to, and agreed by, all staff, is that from the beginning of May, WaiBOP will move to a 4-day work week. This means that during May we will be closed on Fridays. Decisions regarding closure days in June and beyond have yet to be made. It has been made clear to staff that all options remain open as we work our way through this period

WaiBOP is continuing to focus on managing our costs to ensure we are in a strong position to come through these challenging times and hit the ground running when we return to a level that allows activity.

WaiBOP is working hard behind the scenes with various councils, RSO’s and other sports to look at all options which may necessitate extending the season. This includes keeping abreast of the Ministry of Health’s guidelines and ensuring compliance.

I am confident that we are doing as good as job as possible in our scenario planning (both operationally and financially) and information flow to our members. We will continue to keep our standards high as we know that is what our clubs expect. You can rest assured we are looking at every possible option to be able to deliver to our clubs a football season; community sport will be at the forefront of getting some sort of normality back into society.

The move to Alert Level 3 will bring no change in terms of playing organised football and futsal. Any decision on what we can do at each level will be reviewed by NZ Football and communicated to us all. We will pass this information on when it becomes available. At this point in time community football is still postponed until at least Queen’s Birthday Weekend.

I hope that the communication you are receiving from us is both clear and informative and that you are engaging in some of the initiatives coming out from the team. These include:

I’d encourage players and referees to keep themselves fit and active so that we can get into football as soon as possible once we have the go-ahead. Coaches should be in regular contact with their players too.

We do not know what the future holds but we will continue to plan based on information available to us and advocate for our game at every opportunity.

Karyn Walters
Chief Executive, WaiBOP Football