These are strange times for all of us because of lockdown in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. The restrictions introduced on March 23rd have severely curtailed the work of freelancers, threatened livelihoods, mental wellbeing and even the prospects of any cricket at all between now and the Autumn.
But CWC’s first ever online AGM, attended by nearly 100 people did offer a few rays of sunshine, thanks to the highs of 2019, the prospects of an expanded membership and the work of the Sports Freelancer Collective in representing the interests of the self-employed.
The AGM heard that the Sports Freelancer Collective had written a letter to Oliver Dowden (Secretary of State for Digital Culture, Media and Sport) – co-signed by CWC and the media associations for football, rugby, lawn tennis, athletics and basketball, as well as the SJA, to address the uncertainty faced by freelancers as a result of Covid-19. The SFC has gathered pro-bono offers of help from key areas of accountancy, sport psychotherapy, mortgage advice and employment law, plus Tri North have created the new freelancer platform The Pinch Hitter.
We also had assurances from Kate Miller (ECB Director of Communications) that we’d have clear communication from executives going forward about what cricket (if any) might be deliverable this season and what “closed door” cricket might look like for the press if that option is pursued.
At the meeting, it was decided that due to Covid-19 we wouldn’t proceed with a CWC Lunch in the autumn of 2020, but we would aim to have an event in Spring 2021.
Facility improvements at the county grounds may be on hold for now but progress has been made regarding sustainability initiatives at Headingley, Lord’s, the Oval and Edgbaston.
The huge success of England’s 2019 World Cup campaign will be a great platform to inspire youngsters to take up sport in the lockdown free years to come – and our contract with the Lord’s Taverners will play a part in that with reports at the AGM of more than 12,000 disadvantaged children gaining access to sport and life skills through their work. Off the field 2019 saw some emerging cricket writer talent via the CWC Cricket Writing Workshops. Special congratulations to Georgie Heath and Harry Normanton – who emerged through a field of around 50 students to attend the epic World Cup final and showcase their work on the ICC’s website.
The AGM also highlighted the growth of the CWC website (52,575 hits in the last year and 6,675 hits in March alone), proposals to set up a Twitter account, plus memberships for students – graduating to full or associate membership later.
For a comprehensive look at April’s AGM, please refer to the official minutes, delivered by Will MacPherson on May 6th. Stay safe. We’ll meet again.