The CSC Group, comprising of Caboolture Sports Club, North Lakes Sports Club and Centenary Lakes Sports Club & Function Centre, has had to adapt to the economic challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since the first confirmed case of the virus in January 2020, it took just two months before the clubs were in complete lockdown with over 300 staff and 70,000 members affected across the CSC Group’s three venues.
The Clubs were quick to help flatten the curve under the Government’s guidance when the initial capacity limitations decreased from 500 people for outdoor gatherings to 100 people (per room) per 4m2 from 18th March.
Immediate action meant the CSC Group had to adapt fast by changing rosters, moving furniture, installing barriers, introducing new sanitation and cleaning procedures, installing new signage, and adapting their serviceability.
“It was difficult to know exactly what we needed to do, in terms of compliance, and we had little control over the ever-evolving situation from the Government,” commented CSC Group CEO Kelvin Patch.
“After five days from the initial capacity restrictions we were in total lockdown!”
Although Management was daunted by the process and the effects it would have on staff, the stand-down notice was issued and staff meetings were held on Wednesday 25th March. Staff were informed of the current situation, given guidance on applying for Centrelink and offered other support services. Management had a clear message for staff that the Clubs would reopen.
“The staff were our top priority and we decided to distribute free groceries to help them through this difficult time,” added Mr Patch.
Staff have been able to stay connected via the staff Facebook groups. This platform sees staff posting daily about what they’ve been up to at home, tips on how they are remaining positive & active, as well as acknowledging birthdays, work anniversaries and other accomplishments. Management has also been using this platform to communicate vital information as the situation unfolds, offering online training courses, and weekly competitions to keep staff entertained and motivated.
“Our North Lakes Sports Club Employee of the Year, Dustin Howes even posted to the staff Facebook group saying if any staff member was doing it hard, he was donating his $1,000 employee of the year prize money to anyone who may need help during this time.”
The staff Facebook groups have been an amazing way for the whole CSC Group to stay connected with each other, promote better well-being and has made the team closer than ever before.
The CSC Group of clubs pays over $10 million in wages every year and puts over $1.9 million back into local sport and the community, but still has significant expenses to pay whilst the Clubs remain closed.
With a strong balance sheet, the CSC Group is moving ahead to come out of the economic downturn but foresees that it will take 12 months or so to fully recover.
Predictions are that the club industry will be one of the last industries to reopen and the Group supports the Government’s roadmap to recovery.
The CSC Group qualified for the JobKeeper scheme and payments commenced for 180 eligible staff from the week ending 5th April 2020.
“JobKeeper has been a godsend with staff now being able to work; they were itching to get back and the JobKeeper payments allowed us to provide this to them whilst adhering to social distancing restrictions,” said Group CEO Kelvin Patch.
This payment helped support the Clubs decision to reopen with the new takeaway services at Caboolture Sports Club and North Lakes Sports Club. The new takeaway services re-engage approximately 20-30 employees per week across the group and has been positively received by members with over 150 meals prepared on its first night at Caboolture Sports Club.
Featuring club favourites of members who frequent the venues, the Clubs’ dinner takeaway menus boasts family feast dinner packs from just $35 and club classic dishes such as the chicken parmy, pizzas and even desserts.
A skeleton staff of about 6-8 managers across various departments are currently working to help provide the new takeaway and bottleshop services in conjunction with preparations for reopening. The Group predicts that they will be reopening during Stage 3 of Queensland’s Roadmap to Easing COVID-19 restrictions, if not before providing capacity restrictions are significantly reduced.
Strategic planning is now underway for different reopening scenarios, as well as changes being made to operational procedures so the clubs are well prepared for the governments ok to reopen. Staff training is also taking place to ensure the same level of service members have come to love will be present when the Clubs reopen, with an emphasis on social distancing & hygiene practices.
Staff have also been phoning members who are at a higher risk to check in on their well-being and ask if they require any additional support during these times.
“It is vital that we remain front of mind and engaged with our members; that was one of the main drivers behind undertaking these new takeaway services and keeping in touch via phone, sms, email & social media,” said Group CEO Kelvin Patch.
“We don’t want to just wipe off the cobwebs when we reopen, we want to make sure we have the support of our members.”
“We would like to thank all of our members for their continued support during these times,” commented Mr Patch.
“We will open again and look forward to seeing all our members & guests when we do.”