“A lot of the academies we deal with have shown they know how to adhere to all the guidelines, shown that they can adhere to all the ratios and adhere to the social distancing guidelines, and I think they’re ready, ready to go full steam ahead. Let’s rip off the bandaid and get back to sports, safely of course.”
ESM senior relationship manager AJ is unambiguously positive about how sports academies and school facilities are looking ahead of a big influx of students in September. Part of the sports management company’s role has been helping academies and schools adhere to safety protocols since March. In positive news for all sports lovers, he said the entire sports industry has been working towards ramping up operations in September.
Sounds good to us! Hear more from AJ about how academies and schools are ready to reopen, and how they are constantly on the improve below.
Quotes from AJ
- The five star rating is something that we’re bringing in from September 1st and it’ll be the first rating system of its kind in the region. Everyone knows about booking.com or when you look at restaurant ratings where everyone wants to be five star, and a three star is great as well. But we want to make it really transparent for all our provides and parents and our whole ecosystem – that includes the school principles and parents who are the strictest judges of all what a five star provider is – what you need to do to become a five star sport provider and (we’re) consistently improving people.
Things like commercial and compliance (influence ratings as well as) how well you score in health and safety and child safeguarding which is really really important and how professional you are and how you deal with sessions and of course feedback from parents and schools will fit into that.
- There are some really really top class academies and providers in the UAE, some that have a regional presence, some that have an international presence. To name a couple of the top of my head (that are excellent) It’s Just Football and FC Barcelona have always done a great job not just in terms of what they deliver but the back end as well so their customer service their administration”
- ESM as a brand what we do is we sit outside the provider actually delivering sessions now. We focus on three key areas. The first part of it is essentially managing events, and then we coordinate adult facility rental…We have really high standards and you have to hit these standards to even walk through the door on ESM
- (On online sports activities) The idea came froth executive management at GEMS schools and they wanted a platform that was safe and controlled and something they could offer their students when they were really starting out online learning. At the end of the day (students) traditionally go to your after school activity and there was nothing for them to actually do.
15 academies came back and offered their services completely free there was no money that changed hands at all this was a really tough time for those academies and a lot of their staff in particular, who were either on unpaid leave or in different countries, put together a program every day where we had over 10,000 individual attendees in the seven week period.
The stars of the show were those academies that took part and delivered on time every day for that seven week period and we had over 41 schools from across the GEMS network and across five Emirates take part.
- Our facilities team are superb. The cleaning staff at the schools have been superb and they’ve worked with us. We have hygiene champions at every site, we have facility supervisors that work with parents coming in and we’ve gone to every site and stuck down stickers of social distancing and signage. We’ve got a heath and safety and compliance team who’s whole function is making sure people do things the right way.