Please read our COVID FAQs for Curling and Tennis

    Mr. Ford’s announcement of a week ago Friday that Toronto was returning to a modified Stage 2 put a scare in us that tennis would be affected by increased restrictions. Fortunately this did not turn out to be the case.

    However, this did serve as a reminder that the COVID measures we currently have in place must be strictly adhered to if we hope to stay open for play and, for the most part, I’m please to say that they are.

    BUT, in some cases, they are not. Perhaps because the requirements are not clear enough; but in others this is not the case.

    1. Face masks are to be worn at ALL times except when playing on the court. Please wear your masks when entering the dome, while waiting for your court, and while getting ready to play. Masks may only be removed when playing. Once you leave the playing surface, put your mask back on. This even includes when you are changing courts during league and block booking rotations. Finally, be sure to put your mask on immediately upon completion of play in preparation for exiting the dome.
    2. When booking courts in GameTime, please be sure to list ALL players. This is critical to enabling our compliance with government-mandated tracing requirements. Hopefully this will never be needed, but in the event it is, we need to be able to report exactly who was on the courts at any point in time. So, even in situations where you use “I Pay” because you are paying the full court fee, be sure to list all the other players. In situations where you are taking a lesson with one of the coaches, the coach should book the court in order that he/she can list themselves as being present. If you are unable to play and arrange with another member to take your spot (remember: NO GUESTS), please update your reservation if possible before you play. If this is not possible, call or email the office to let us know about the change.
    3. It is a requirement that the nets be drawn at all times. The locks on the nets are an indication of this. Just because the locks leave a gap at the bottom between the nets does not mean that it is OK to squeeze between the nets instead of going around.
    4. Thank you to all those who have submitted their COVID Declaration of Compliance. If you have not yet done so, please print it off using the link provided HERE, read it, initial and sign it in all the indicated spots, and then deposit it in the locked mailbox at the east entrance to the clubhouse next time you play.

    Stay safe and have fun.
    Cheers,
    Doug


    Based on all the emails we received over the weekend, there are a lot of members looking for reassurance that we are still planning to open for curling. Unfortunately, as a result of the new Provincial restrictions announced on Friday for Toronto, Peel and Ottawa, it looks like our start will delayed by another week, from November 2 until November 9th.

    That’s the bad news. The good news is that work continues on getting the ice ready. Jet Ice will be in tomorrow to do a temporary cover-up of the houses on sheets B, C, F and G as we convert from 8 sheets down to 6. The “new” rocks also arrived from Weston. This one week delay might even give us some time for practice before the season starts on the 9th; stay tuned for more on that.

    Looking forward to seeing everyone the week of November 9th, if not sooner.

    Cheers,
    Doug


    This is one last request to those of you who have yet to let us know your decision on curling this season. If you have already paid all or a portion of your fees, you can disregard this message.

    We plan to continue to prepare for a curling season until we are told we can’t. But first we need assurance from you, the members, that if we put in the ice, and if we are not locked back down again by our politicians, you are interested in curling this season.

    So far, only 40% (approximately 200 members) have confirmed that they are definitely planning on playing this season by registering and paying all or a portion of their membership. This is not enough to support opening. But there are still 257 members who registered back in May and June, but who we need to hear from. This number was over 300 earlier this week, so we conducted a phone blitz and contacted them all in an attempt to get a “yay” or “nay”. But our attempts were only partially successful as, in many cases, we were only able to leave a phone message. I thought the idea of cellphones was to make it easier to reach someone (not true).

    So, this email is intended for those 257 members who remain undecided/unpaid. Please do one of the following this weekend:

    1. If you plan on playing, please go to the website at www.tamheather.ca and pay for your membership. We have even added a split payment option that allows you to pay half now and half in January. If you are undecided because some, or even all, of your teammates from last season have decided not to play, but you would still like to play, rest assured that there are many others in the same situation who are looking for new teammates. Our drawmasters are very good at matching up teams. And you will have the final say in who you want to play with. This year will be less about competition, and more about just getting out and doing something active and social; just having some fun. Something that’s in very short supply these days.
    1. If you have decided not to play this season, please let us know with a quick email to the office at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or a phone call to 416-284-9251. If you were a member last season, you may also go online and convert your membership to a “Hold-My-Spot” membership.

    Please do one or the other.

    If you would like to play, but are hesitant to go ahead and pay because you expect that the recent uptick in positive COVID tests will result in us being unable to open, be assured that we will not keep your money in the event we are unable to open. Your money will be refunded in full. If we are able to start the season, and then get shut back down, you will receive a prorated refund for the entire portion of the season that is missed.

    I can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any questions.

    Cheers,

    Doug

     


    welcome colourful“Welcome Back” to all returning members and “Welcome to Tam” to all new members.

    Before you arrive for your first matches, please be reminded again of the following COVID protocols that are now in place. Be sure to follow these guidelines for your own safety and that of your fellow members. Doing so will be critical to the Club being able to stay open and available for members to enjoy.    

    • Players must NOT enter the dome if they are displaying COVOD-related symptoms
    • Face masks are to be worn at all times until players reach their court and only be removed to commence play, then put back on to depart.
    • All players must read and bring a signed COVID waiver and declaration of compliance to their first game. This waiver was emailed to all registered members and is also available on the Club website under Club Info > Governance.
    • Players should arrive no more than 10 minutes before their games
    • Upon entering the dome, players should not congregate in the vestibule. Proceed directly into the dome and follow the arrows on the floor. Wait socially distanced in the area to the right/east of the entrance until your court is available.
    • All movement to and from the courts will be along the outside walls of the dome. Just follow the arrows on the walls.
      • Access courts from the right/east
      • Depart courts to the left/west
    • Divider nets to be kept drawn shut at all times and closed at the middle
    • Coat racks will not be available. So players should take their coats and all personal effects with them to the court.
    • NO GUESTS. This is a COVID-related protocol as we must be able to provide tracing information for anyone accessing the dome. Even in the event of a last minute cancellation, DO NOT fill that opening with a non-member.

    Just a couple of quick updates to keep in mind as we prepare for the start of the 2020-2021 winter season.

    1. In order to further reduce the potential for Covid spread, we are asking that anyone playing in a league or multi-court block booking at any other tennis club, not sign up to play in any leagues or multi-court block bookings here at Tam Heather. This does not preclude someone belonging to another club. Rather, this is specifically intended to prevent co-mingling between large groups at multiple clubs.
    2. A COVID-19 Declaration of Compliance must be signed before your first game of the 2020-2021 season. Below is a link to the Declaration. Please print a copy, sign and date it, and bring it with you to your first match as it needs to be submitted before you go on the courts. Your waiver will be collected by a court monitor. If one is not present at your time of play, please give your Declaration to the League Captain or Block Booking organizer. Copies of the waiver will be available for you to sign in case you forget to bring it, but we would ask that you make every effort to print it off, read the important information it contains, initial and sign where required, and bring it with you to your first match. Being able to just hand it in, rather than having to read it and sign when you arrive means you won’t be delayed in getting on with your match.

    COVID-19 Declaration of Compliance


    We appreciate your patience as the Club has worked to develop plans for the upcoming curling season. As mentioned in past communications, certain key information has been slow to become available, but we feel we are finally in a position to proceed.

    Recent events have given rise to some concern among members, so it is important to start by assuring you that every effort is being made to ensure a safe return to play. Please take some time to read our Curling FAQ’s and Safety Measures for Curling on the Tam website.

    With these measures in place, the Board of Directors has given the go-ahead to open the Club for curling on Monday October 26 provided the following conditions are met:

    • the Club has retained at least approximately 65% membership revenue by October 5th and
    • the provincial reopening restrictions are at or better than the current conditions.

    Members must pay their fees by October 5th. Payment by this date is important as it will dictate whether or not the Club proceeds with the ice install, which takes a minimum 3 weeks before the first day of curling. If the Club doesn't achieve the 65% threshold by that date, the Board of Directors will postpone installing the ice and determine a subsequent date for reopening curling.

    Most members registered back in May. Payment can be most easily done by following that same registration process. Clicking the purple Registration icon will result in you seeing an additional purple icon “CURLING – PAY ON-LINE”. Clicking this icon will take you to a recap of your selected leagues where you will be able to make any updates to your selected leagues and/or team members. As promised in earlier communications, a new option has been added to allow members to pay their membership fees in 2 instalments; 50% now and the remaining 50% by January 15. You will see the option to “Pay Balance” or “Pay 50%” on the credit card payment screen.

    Ultimately, it is up to each member to make an informed decision. Curling isn’t an essential activity – it’s optional … fun, entertaining, helpful in making the winter months fly by, but optional. Tam Heather cannot guarantee, despite all of our efforts and desire to keep everyone safe, that COVID-19 won’t somehow enter the club and be transmitted here. Unlikely if everyone acts responsibly, but possible. Each member is responsible to assess their own risk and comfort level with curling and socializing at the Club.

    Given the importance of reaching the aforementioned 65% threshold, the Club would appreciate hearing from everyone before the October 5 deadline, either by

    1. paying your membership (our obvious preferred choice)
    2. taking out a Save My Spot membership ($85 +HST) to retain your status as a returning member for the 2021-2022 season (available at step 2 when paying, under the list of leagues), or
    3. a quick email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. just to let us know that you won’t be playing this season.

    I understand there may be some confusion regarding the Government's announcement on the weekend.

    The Government of Ontario announced the following new limits on the number of people allowed to attend unmonitored private social gatherings across the province:

    • 10 people at an indoor event or gathering (previous limit of 50);
    • 25 people at an outdoor event or gathering (previous limit of 100)
    • Indoor and outdoor events and gatherings cannot be merged together. Gatherings of 35 (25 outdoors and 10 indoors) are not permitted.

    The new limits appliy to unmonitored and private social gatherings include functions, parties, dinners, gatherings, BBQs or wedding receptions held in private residences, backyards, parks and other recreational areas.

    The new limits do not apply to staffed facilities or businesses such as restaurants, bars, convention centres or banquet halls and therefore do not affect Curling Club Facilities.

    Here at Tam Heather, we are proceeding with our preparations for curling to commence on Monday October 19. The ice plant gets turned on tomorrow!!!

    Cheers,
    Doug Miller


    gavelThe Annual General Meeting of the Members of the Tam Heather Curling & Tennis Club will be held on MONDAY, THE 28th DAY OF SEPTEMBER, 2020, at 7:00 pm for the following purpose:

    1. Acceptance of Minutes of Annual General Meeting held September 23rd, 2019, copy of which accompanies this notice
    2. Director's Reports
    3. Review and adopt the Financial Statements for the year ended April 30th 2020, copy of which accompanies this notice
    4. Elect Directors
    5. Confirm the Acts of the Directors for the preceding year
    6. Transact such business as may come before adjournment

    The meeting will be held in virtually.
    Dated at Scarborough, Ontario this 15th day of September, 2020.

    By Order of the Board of Directors.

    Dennis Welbanks
    President, Board of Directors


    Enclosed:

    Login to access AGM Materials


    NOTICE to Members:

    • Two (2) positions were vacant for the upcoming Board of Directors' term.
    • Each of the incumbent directors has agreed to stand for re-election for the positions of House and Tennis Liaison.
    • No further nominations were received by the August 30th deadline, so there will be no nominations from the floor at the A.G.M.

    I.Love.Curling.1x1We have been delaying sending out another email to the members to let everyone know what to expect for the upcoming curling season in hopes that a couple of significant questions would have been answered before we did so. But given that we will soon be starting work to install the ice, we’ve decided to provide another update to fill you in on what we know at this point, as well as what we don’t.

    As many of you already know from the survey we sent out a few weeks back, the really big issue involves the interpretation of the 50 person gathering limit. Initial legal interpretations are that this means that any league can have no more than 50 members and also prevents anyone from playing in any more than one league. A couple of weeks ago, we were told by the Canadian and Ontario Curling Associations that they had been advised that members could play in multiple leagues, so long as those leagues were at the same club. Then, the next morning, we heard that Toronto Health did not agree, and we were back to a single 50 person league. This has obvious implications on a very large number of our members who play in two(2) or more or our leagues.

    We were told that the current Stage 3 framework would be updated with language to allow individuals to curl in more than one league. Just this past Friday, CurlON announced that they are ‘… working with all 27 Ontario Health Units to confirm the interpretation of "leagues" as received from the Province and included in CurlOn’s Re-openings interpretation. They have sent letters to each Health unit and will continue to work with them over the coming week(s).” This means that we need Toronto Public Health to be agreeable with this interpretation and appreciative of all the measures that our sport and the clubs are putting in place to re-open safely.

    Here is a link to the letter that was sent to the Toronto Public Health unit.

    In view of the 50 person limit and with nothing indicating that it is likely to be increased anytime soon, we are planning to reconfigure our 8 sheets down to 6. This will give a generous buffer between sheets and help with the social distancing issue.

    Another issue is length of games and the likelihood that games will have to be reduced from 8 to 6 ends in order to allow ice staff extra time to sanitize equipment and to ensure Government Health capacity guidelines are complied with during draw changes.

     And then there is the issue of masks, likely to be mandatory at all times except when seated in the lounge after your game.  

    We anticipate being able to offer bar service. We are fortunate that our upper lounge is larger than most other clubs, allowing us to space out the tables sufficiently to provide the necessary distancing, but only 4 players per table. Food availability is uncertain at this time, likely only available after your game, not before, as you won’t be able to access the upper lounge before your game. But Damiano is willing, and we are optimistic that members will show their appreciation with their patronage.

    Although many of you have registered for multiple leagues, if it turns out that we can only offer one league, you will be asked to revise your registration and, once you do, this will adjust your membership cost.

    Lastly, we will offer prorated refunds if (perish the thought) we get shut down before we at least reach the 75% point of the season. We are also working on an enhancement to the registration system that will allow members to pay their membership fees in 2 installments.

    Here is a link to a document listing our curling Safety Measures.

    I hope this helps answer some of your questions. Much more still to come.

    In closing, please register for the upcoming virtual Annual General Meeting on Monday September 28 at 7:00pm to hear more. You should have received an email on Sept 5 with a registration link. Click Here to register for the AGM, or contact the office for help with registering.

    Oh, I almost forgot. Fingers crossed, we are targeting October 19 to start league play. It’s a week later than usual, and unfortunately the 50 person limit on groups and tracing requirements will not allow for practice time beforehand, but won’t it be GREAT to throw your first perfect draw to the button, double takeout, draw to the hack, narrow takeout, or hog your first guard. I can’t wait!!! How about you?

     


    As we prepare for the 2020-21 season, we want to reach out to members to help us understand how you are feeling about curling in the current climate.

    The Tam Board is considering several measures to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure to club members and we are very interested in receiving your feedback. Answering the questions below will allow us to better prepare and consider options for the upcoming season. With the start of the curling season less than two months away (fingers crossed), and lots of decisions yet to be made, we would very much appreciate your prompt response (before Aug. 21).

    There are only 9 questions and the survey should take only a few minutes to complete.

    https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TamHeather


    At this year’s Annual General Meeting in September, there will be two vacancies on the Board of Directors. So that every member of the club has an opportunity for input or candidacy, here is a summary of the election process, according to the bylaws of our constitution.

    There are 2 ways to become a candidate:

    1. The Nominating Committee, comprised of the immediate Past President (or designate of the Board), and 1 representative from each of curling and tennis, will nominate individuals, who must agree to stand for election (a Director whose term has expired may stand again).
    1. Any four (4) members may nominate one or more individuals for election as Directors. These must be in writing, signed by the nominees, and submitted to the Secretary of the Board, c/o the office at Tam Heather Curling & Tennis Club.

    ALL NOMINATIONS MUST BE SUBMITTED TO THE SECRETARY

    BY AUGUST 28th, AT 12 NOON.

    The Secretary will post the on-time nominations, both by the Nominating Committee and by the members, on the website at least 15 days prior to the AGM. If each Board vacancy has at least one candidate, then there will be no nominations from the floor at the AGM.

    For the term of September 2020 to September 2023, nominations will be accepted for the following positions on the Board of Directors:

    House Director

    Tennis Liaison

    Current Directors holding the following positions have agreed to stand for re-election:

    House Director

    Tennis Liaison

    Annual General Meeting: Monday, September 28, 2020 @ 7:00 P.M.


    icon tennisEffective August 1, you can log in and REGISTER for the upcoming 2020-2021 winter tennis season.

    Note: In the event of another shutdown due to COVID-19 before the winter season commences, you will be given the option of cancelling your registration and receiving a full refund. Pro-rated refunds will also be given if a shutdown occurs during the season or delays the start of the season.


    curlingrockhandlename2As the curling world continues to manoeuvre the COVID-19 pandemic, much effort is being given to evaluate the potential for our upcoming curling season.  We continue to actively participate on inter-club conference calls and discussions; we are in regular contact with our provincial and federal partners; we have subscribed to all support opportunities possible. Your league committees continue to connect on a regular basis and the Board continues to meet monthly as planned, only virtually.

    With re-opening protocols changing almost daily, the Board believes that it is much too early yet to make any sort of judgement call regarding the fall.  We understand that many of you may be anxious for an answer and we assure you that you will have one as soon as decisions are made.

    A few GTA clubs have sent out surveys in an attempt to gauge the mindset of their members. A couple shared their results at the inter-club meetings and, although the comments make for interesting reading, the results just served to show how undecided people are currently. Everybodys situation is different. After reading the survey results, we decided against sending one out to Tam members as we dont see how it provides any help in deciding what we should do. Weve already done our registration, albeit without asking for payment, so we know members really, really want to be able to curl in the fall. With the way things are constantly changing though, nobody knows with any certainty what curling will look like in October, and what it looks like in late August will make all the difference in whether the Club decides on a Thanksgiving start. Only then will we be able to tell people what protocols will be imposed (masks, bar service, lockers, number of sheets, start times for games, etc.). Until then, we just dont know and a survey wont help with that.

    So lets wait for the picture to hopefully become clearer. In the meantime, I encourage you to check out the CurlON website for return-to-play resources and info: https://ontcurl.com/2020/06/27/return-to-play-townhouse-meetings/

    I hope everyone continues to stay safe and sound this summer and we will chat again soon.


    Page 1 of 5