Corona Update: March 31
April 28 Update: BJC intends to provide summer programs starting as soon as regulations allow. We’re busy planning schedules and safety measures to keep everyone healthy. Registration is not open right now, but stay tuned for future announcements.
March 31, 2020
Hello BJC friends,
I’m writing to update you on the status of BJC during this difficult period of time.
The most important message to share is that we’re working hard to ensure BJC is here for you now, and in the future. We are committed to supporting our kids and our community through this crisis.
On the bright side, our high school team is functioning strongly and having remarkable success with virtual activities, training, and coaching. But as we announced previously, all devo-level (age 4-13) programs are postponed. We’ll resume these programs as soon as it is safe, whenever that may come. The devo-level programs are: Bike Play, Young Devo, Devo MTB, and Shredders.
I want to assure our families in devo-level programs that BJC is committed to deliver on services that you have already paid for. We intend to provide the same programs and the same number of coaching hours that you signed up for, plus we’re providing a host of virtual activities right now. We can’t predict when we’ll be able to resume programs, but when we do we’ll make up for lost time to the extent possible, by extending the season, providing more practices per week, lengthening each practice, and similar strategies.
With so much uncertainty in the world, it is too early to predict what our summer programs will look like but we’ll keep you posted.
For the time being, we ask you to please hold inquiries about refunds and rain checks until we know more about the length of the isolation policies and when we can resume programs. We will notify you once we have enough information to make decisions. If you are facing significant financial hardship, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
At this stage in the spread of the virus in Colorado, it feels appropriate to encourage kids to ride their bikes. Our members have told us that BJC is an important part of their lives and they don’t want us to shut down or cancel programs outright. But we recognize the situation may change if the virus worsens in our region. We’ll keep watching and adjust as needed.
Meanwhile, I urge devo-level families to join the virtual activities that Coach Lester is organizing. These are not a full replacement for team practices, but it’s our way to stay in touch and to keep riding. Our goal with the virtual programs is to keep kids engaged in cycling and provide families with activities for biking together. It’s working really well in our high school program, so watch for Lester’s emails and get involved if you can.
As I mentioned above, a bright spot for BJC is that our high school team is going full steam with virtual activities and remote coaching. The athletes are stepping up big time and they are using this time to build, improve, and learn. Our athletes are more connected and accomplishing more than we imagined possible. My inbox is full of emails from families who are telling me about the positive effect BJC is having during these uncertain times. Thank you!
To see what the high school kids are up to, check out the entries in our Photo Contest and be amazed by the creativity in our Strava Art Challenge.
As we all work together to get through this difficult time, I want to give credit to our leadership team: Lester Pardoe, devo programs manager/coach, and Joe Lewis, high school program manager/coach. They are going above and beyond to support our community and are an extremely important part of BJC. But unfortunately, our assistant coaches have put their season on hold. These positions are all part-time, but they do provide a source of income for these folks and we hope we can put them back in the field as soon as possible.
Now let’s look ahead: Like many nonprofits, BJC is seeing a sharp downturn in revenue. Depending how long the COVID-19 situation lasts, we are forecasting at least a 40% drop in revenue. Registrations, donations, and grants will all be greatly reduced. Our bike swap is postponed, the general recession will cause a drop in youth sports participation, and all types of fundraising will decline.
Fortunately, BJC is on solid financial footing at the moment. Thanks to you all, donations and participation have been strong the past several years, and we have a reserve fund to help us thru a temporary downturn. But if the crisis lasts more than a couple months, we’ll face some tough decisions that could include cutbacks to ensure our long-term financial health. I hope our community can stand by us to help make sure BJC is here to support our athletes next season and next year.
As we go forward, I want to remind you that BJC has a scholarship program and support network in place for those who need it. If you anticipate being in a financial position that would prohibit your kids from riding with BJC, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Our world is faced with an unprecedented crisis, and so many in our community are affected. But together, we can overcome this and youth sports like BJC will help us return to healthy lives and move forward.
Thank you for your patience, understanding, and support.
As always, Pete
Pete Webber, Executive Director