Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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Petition Save Community Sports Clubs and Leisure Facilities with a Sports Recovery Fund

We call on government to instigate emergency funding in the form of a Sports Recovery Fund to ensure sport clubs, fitness and leisure facilities - the lifeblood of communities across the nation – can remain open and survive the coming difficult months.

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Grassroots sport, fitness and leisure facilities are facing collapse due to Covid-19. Without emergency Government support, like that given to the arts sector, community sport and the UK's physical and mental health faces a bleak future that will be difficult to recover from, damaging Britain’s ability to Build Back Better. Action is needed now to ensure everyone continues to have the opportunity to play the sport they love and be physically active. A Sports Recovery Fund will help achieve this.

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Government responded

This response was given on 23 November 2020

Sports providers and facilities are crucial for people staying active. Government has provided unprecedented support to businesses through tax reliefs, cash grants and employee wage support.

Read the response in full

Sport and physical activity are incredibly important for our physical and mental health, and are a vital weapon against coronavirus. That’s why we made sure that people could exercise at least once a day even during the height of lockdown - and why we opened up grassroots sport and leisure facilities as soon as it was safe to do so.

We recognise the vital contribution that sports clubs play in their communities. Were we to lose them, we would lose so much more than sport. The wider contribution they have made during the pandemic is not to be underestimated: hosting test centres, looking after vulnerable people and organising food deliveries.

That is why the Government has provided unprecedented support to businesses through tax reliefs, cash grants and employee wage support, which many sport clubs have benefited from. On 22 October, the Government announced a £100m support fund for local authority leisure centres. In addition, Sport England has also provided over £220 million for the sport and physical activity sector with a Community Emergency Fund of £35 million directly to support community sport clubs and exercise centres through this pandemic.
We are continuing to work with organisations to understand what they need and how we may be able to support them.

Nobody wanted to be in the position of having to introduce further National Restrictions. However, as the Prime Minister said, with the virus spreading faster than expected we cannot allow our health system to be overwhelmed. The National Restrictions are designed to get the R rate under control through limiting social contact and reducing transmissions.

In order for these measures to have the greatest impact, we will all need to sacrifice doing some things that we would otherwise like to do, for a short period of time. As soon as we're in a position to start lifting restrictions, grassroots sports will be one of the first to return.

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

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At 100,000 signatures, this petition will be considered for debate in Parliament

Other parliamentary business

DCMS Committee to hear from sports facility representatives on surviving the pandemic

On Tuesday 12 December, a group of MPs called the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee will hear from the gym industry on making sure our sports facilities, including pools and leisure centres, can survive the pandemic.

Watch the session from 10 am on Tuesday 12 January on Parliament’s streaming site: https://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/c4f1d7a0-2370-412b-8d88-a297b6abf06a

This 'evidence session' is part of the Committee's inquiry into Sport in our communities. The Committee will hear from two panels:

Panel 1 (10 am to 11 am)
Rich Emerson, CEO, The Climbing Academy, and Chair of the Association of British Climbing Walls.
Rebecca Passmore, UK Managing Director, PureGym

Panel 2 (11 to 12 pm)
Marg Mayne, CEO, Mytime Active, and Treasurer of Community Leisure UK
Huw Edwards, CEO, ukactive

The session is part of a longer inquiry looking into Sport in our communities. You can find out more here: https://committees.parliament.uk/work/647/sport-in-our-communities/

You can get involved with the inquiry by recording your own video message or short film to answer the question: What does community sport mean to me?

You must follow current COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions when filming your video- do not put yourself and others at risk. You can use animation, film your video indoors and you don’t need to film outside. We want to hear about why community sport is important to you and why it matters to you.

Find out more here: https://committees.parliament.uk/work/647/sport-in-our-communities/news/123537/what-does-community-sport-mean-to-you-contribute-to-our-inquiry/

Further information

Find out how to get involved in the work of the UK Parliament: https://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/

Find out about the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee: https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/378/digital-culture-media-and-sport

Follow the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee on Twitter:
@CommonsDCMS and take part in this discussion with #MyCommunitySport

Find out how Select Committees work:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_2RDuDs44c

Ministerial statement on financial support for the sport sector

On Thursday 19 November, the Minister for Sport, Tourism and Heritage Nigel Huddleston MP gave a statement to the House of Commons on financial support for the sport sector.

You can watch the statement here: https://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/a9bed331-34a0-4f31-bd03-1ee0bf912ebc?in=13:19:00&out=14:05:28

Ministerial statements are a way for Ministers to bring an important matter to the attention of the House, often at short notice. You can find out more about them here: https://www.parliament.uk/about/how/business/statements/

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