The pandemic has taken a toll on every aspect of society, and has presented great challenges to organized sports. One person who truly rose to the occasion, and gave everything to guide his club through the pandemic, is Jonathan Speller. He has been nominated for The Cricketer’s Lockdown Heroes Awards as a “Club Hero”.
The Cricketer’s Club Hero is an award that acknowledges those who have gone the extra mile to keep their clubs running during the pandemic. You can vote for Jonathan Speller here.
Jonathan Speller has worked long hours throughout the pandemic, and has had many all-nighters at the office. As the Cricket Director at Wimbledon CC, everything cricket-related goes through him. His club has a membership base of more than 1200 cricketers, 800 of which are juniors.
Mr. Speller has single-handedly arranged 3500 events for his members, facilitated coaching lessons over Zoom, secured much-needed income for his club, and managed to get Wimbledon’s summer camp rolling again. When asked about what motivated him to put in all these extra hours, Mr. Speller responded, “Well, it’s a great club filled with great people.” His passion for cricket and his club is undeniable.
Mr. Speller was nominated by the father of one of the juniors in the club, “I’m very touched that he felt strongly enough to take some time out of his busy schedule – I know he’s a very busy man.”
“It’s kind of why we coach, you know? It’s for little moments like this. There is a real gratitude behind what we do, and getting feedback like this makes it all worth it.”
Mr. Speller has been resourceful during the pandemic, utilizing tools like Zoom to continue coaching during lockdown, “We have some very loyal coaches. To be able to use Zoom for online sessions, and make videoclips of the coaches with tips and hints has also helped make our coaches more personable, so our members really know who they are and what they are all about.”
The pandemic has created a lot of uncertainty for sports clubs around the world, but Mr. Speller and Wimbledon CC were able to fully utilize the Spond Club system to help relieve some of the burden, “A lot of our worries were dispelled quite quickly when we realized that the administration of all this was being taken care of by the Spond Club system.”
“We could focus less on the negative and the arduous, and look more at the wow factor. Once we knew that the kids would be safe, and that we could get sessions going again quickly, we could then really focus our attention on getting back to what we love doing, which is teaching and coaching.”
Mr. Speller doesn’t deny that this past period has been difficult, but he also makes sure to emphasize the positives, “Obviously, it was a big hurdle – that big unknown. But when the ECB and the government stepped in and laid out their plan, coupled with our administration taken care of by the Spond Club system, it actually hasn’t been that difficult. It has actually been quite enjoyable.”
Mr. Speller has also been able to manage Wimbledon CC’s handling of the pandemic by using Spond Club and the Spond app, “There was a confidence as well that if we had an outbreak in the club, we would be able to shut it down really well and track and trace people who had attended sessions through Spond. Should there be an outbreak in the future, we are confident that we would be able to keep everyone safe and informed.”
“This disaster could have split the club apart, but Spond has actually helped us bring it all together.”
You can vote for Jonathan Speller, who has worked tirelessly to help his club through the pandemic, here.