We know that a lot of you have been asking about the Sports Awards recently - we’re really excited for them too, and although we couldn't hold them in real life like we'd hoped we know that they're still going to be amazing. The online awards will definitely still be happening, but we have had to postpone them temporarily.
We’ve done this for one main reason - like the University and many organisations nationally, we’ve had to make the decision to temporarily furlough some staff because of the impact that COVID-19 has had on our operations. The reason why this has an effect on the timing of the Sports Awards is because these staff are crucial to the operations of the event. They’re the only ones who have the knowledge of sport at St Mary's that is needed to choose the winners for each award, and they’re also the ones who would be organising the event itself to make sure that it’s a success - even though the event is now online, it's still going to take a bit of work to make the awards the best that they can possibly be. Anything less than that is just not good enough - after all of the amazing work you've put in this year to make sport at St Mary's so successful, you deserve something special.
With that in mind, the Sports Awards will definitely be happening before the end of the academic year on July 31 - but because furlough is an ongoing process which is constantly reviewed, we don’t know the exact date that they will be on at this point. We’ll be sure let you know with plenty of advance notice when we have one. Again, to clarify - they will definitely be happening, and this postponement will not lead to a cancellation.
With regards to the staff who have been furloughed, we can confirm that they’re only temporarily in this position and we’ll be bringing them back in as soon as we possibly can. All furloughed staff are still being paid 100% of their wages which means they won’t lose out financially, too.
We can’t wait to celebrate this with you soon – we promise that it will be worth the wait.