May 15, 2020
Piranha families –
Thank you for tuning into our parents meeting and Q/A session on Tuesday. It was great to have so many of you stream in and it was humbling to hear so much support from our families. I attempted to record the meeting, but I am having some issues with the file. We discussed four main topics including what we know at this time, our plans for team engagement, SafeSport, and a review of where the club is from the administrative side.
As of now we know that the outdoor pools in Richfield, Edina, and Bloomington will not be opening this summer. Also, MN swimming has decided to cancel all summer championship meets which includes MAC, MRC, State, etc.
On a more positive note we have been told by Richfield’s superintendent, Steve Unowski, that once restrictions are lifted Richfield will begin to look at our plan for a safe return into the RMS pool. As you all know, Governor Walz and the state of MN will begin to transition out of “shelter in place” and into “stay safe MN”. We are still unclear as to what that means exactly for our organization as groups of ten are now allowed to gather while practicing social distancing.
So, how do we make a safe return into RMS? First, I think it is important to note that the CDC has stated that there is no evidence the virus spreads through treated water. USA-Swimming has provided clubs a through guideline to help with re-entry plans and protocols which covers basically everything from entry into the building to logistics of practice ( read through these guidelines HERE). We will piggyback off of USA-Swimming’s guidelines to create a plan specific to RMS and cross our fingers for quick approval. All participating members will need to acknowledge this plan and sign a waiver upon registration.
Once we receive approval, we will begin to make a phased re-entry for our team. Phase I would allow only Junior and Senior athletes back into the water. Assuming we are adhering well to our guidelines and protocols we will slowly bring back our groups with caution.
We will be submitting our plan today, so let’s keep our fingers crossed!
As for further engagement, we will be adding more engagement activities in the coming weeks for all groups. Please continue to look at the EVENT PAGE – In home workouts and for emails with more information. Remember, you must be logged into your Piranhas account to access the links. We want our zoom links to remain private to our club.
SafeSport has been at the center of a lot of youth sport discussion over the last several years. SafeSport began in 2017 in order to protect and prevent abuse in youth organizations. USA-Swimming began adopted it’s Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policy (MAAPP) in June of 2019. Since then we have adopted many policies to protect our minor athletes from locker room policies, to photography, to communication. Please read through our policies.
USA-Swimming has provided educational resources for parents and 12&over athletes about SafeSport and MAAPP. The primary objective is for all our members to be educated. I have outlined step-by-step instructions on how to educate yourselves and your minor athletes. Completion of these educational resources would allow our club to become a SafeSport recognized club. Let’s reach our safesport recognition! Please take a look at the instructions – SAFESPORT INSTRUCTIONS.
Finally, a note from our Club President, Jamie Moreen, regarding the club. I want to give a brief update on the Piranhas’ financials. As you all know, we furloughed our coaching staff on March 30, 2020. We applied for the PPP loan and also the EIDL advance/grant. The PPP loan was approved and funded which allowed us to reinstate our coaches to full hours and full pay. With the EIDL, the federal government changed the $10k advance to receiving $1k per employee. We have since received $9k and have set that money aside to make sure the funds are used within the stipulations of the advance and do not interfere with the PPP loan. Also, USA Swimming is providing a $1M COVID-19 Relief Grant to swim clubs. This grant is for clubs who have suffered a loss of revenue due to a cancelled meet in April and May which we qualify for with our Summer Chomp. The maximum funds we can request is $5k. USA Swimming is expecting that an average payout will be $3k. The Piranhas’ application requesting $5k has been submitted and USA Swimming will make a decision on grant recipients by May 22 with distribution by May 29th.
You might be asking yourself how the Piranhas will use your very generous donations. When we furloughed our coaching staff, we learned that the club is a “reimbursing employer.” This means that the club “must reimburse (pay) the Minnesota Unemployment Insurance Trust
Fund the full amount of unemployment benefits paid to former employees based on wages
earned while in their employ, regardless of the reasons for separation from work.” We currently know the club is responsible for $2922 for the initial furlough based on our MN Unemployment reports. The PPP loan allowed us to rehire the coaching staff and stop the unemployment reimbursing bills from continuing to accrue. If the coaches had remained on unemployment throughout the full unemployment benefit period, the club would have responsible for a total of $23,030.87. One piece of good news is that under the CARES Act, the federal government will pay for 50% of unemployment bills of non-profits who are reimbursing employers through the time period 3/13/2020-12/31-2020. The board will be discussing if paying unemployment insurance tax is a better long-term financial option or if the club should remain a reimbursing employer. That being said, your donations will help the club off-set this unexpected expense and also help with regular operating expenses. With so much being unknown with COVID-19, we want to best prepare the club if there are future state shut-downs.