Instead of welcoming players, teams, coaches and families inside their normally busy building, the non-profit sports organization experienced something they’ve never had to go through before.
“You have insurance for, God forbid, a tornado or something that comes and destroys your building,” said Executive Director Darcy Carroll. “But you don’t have anything for having to come to a full stop with all of your programming.”
With empty courts and doors closed, the club turned to virtual lessons. Then nets were added outside after Phase 1 of Forward Virginia was implemented.
“With Governor Northam’s orders…we said okay, let’s put up some nets and do what we can,” added Carroll.
Coaches wear masks for the outdoor instructions and involve only one athlete, unless they’re in the same family where the number can increase. All equipment is also sanitized.
But as things slowly start to reopen with the addition of Phase 2, loss of revenue from not holding tournaments and normal annual events is easy to notice.
“50 percent of our income for the year has been lost,” said Carroll. “One of the largest tournaments we run every year is Memorial Day weekend where we have more than 300 teams here from up and down the east coast. And we had to cancel that.”
So the club has looked at other ways to make up for the losses.
“We’re doing a virtual race. We have a fundraising platform we’re using now and our members have been very supportive and generous,” said Carroll. “So that certainly is helping.”