Sport England is “exploring a number of ideas” to mitigate against the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic, and has called for feedback from grassroots sport organisations.
The funding body provided an update on the ongoing situation, and revealed its key priorities for sport and physical activity during this challenging period which it admits “is only likely to accelerate in the weeks and months ahead”.
It read: “We have significant concerns, in particular about the financial impact of this period on certain partners, and we're looking at options that will help to mitigate this.
“We're exploring a number of ideas, for example opening up applications to our Small Grants fund to those that have lost income - modelled on our successful Flood Relief Fund.
“We're also discussing the extensions of existing grants for those already in receipt of funding who have a critical funding shortfall.
“We want to make sure that whatever action we take has the greatest positive impact. So we want to hear from the sector now about the issues they're facing and to take on board their ideas and concerns to feed into our plans.”
Organisations affected are being encouraged to email email@example.com and let Sport England know how coronavirus is impacting their organisation, and the type of help that would be most beneficial.
The funding body conceded the virus “could have a significantly negative impact on the nation’s physical activity levels”.
It added: “We don’t want that to happen, so we'll do everything we can to support people to get and stay active – provided they are well enough.
“That’s because physical activity matters during this period and, actually, we think it’s more important than ever right now. Being active in a way that is right for you, can improve your physical health, help manage stress and anxiety and just generally make you feel better.”
The UK government is now recommending against non-essential contact and all unnecessary travel – including working from home – so Sport England is encouraging people to share some of the best ideas for keeping active by using the hashtag #StayInWorkOut. A section has also been set up on its website to collate ideas on ‘how to stay active while you’re at home’.
Last Friday, Sport Wales posted an update on the situation which stated that it would “continue to monitor and follow advice and guidance from official agencies, in particular Public Health Wales and Welsh Government.
“We remind all users of our facilities that it is important that we maintain excellent standards of hygiene.”