Posted: Thu, 24 Sep 2020 14:29

Supporting the call for a Sports Recovery Fund

COVID-19 threatens to create a lost generation of sport and physical activity. We support the call for a Sports Recovery Fund, so our sector can help keep people fit and healthy which is a vital part of overcoming this pandemic. Leicester-Shire & Rutland Sport (LRS).

Dear Prime Minister,

Today we are calling on you to commit to positioning sport and physical activity at the heart of our nation's post-Covid renewal.

This appeal comes from a broad range of organisations that include governing bodies and those who represent hundreds of thousands of sports clubs and facilities. Our sports engage millions of children, young people, and adults.

Our sector drives economic prosperity and social change in the UK, contributing over £16bn to the UK economy and employing more than 600,000 people. A report published by Sport England and Sheffield Hallam University this month showed that every £1 spent on community sport and physical activity generates nearly £4 for the English economy, providing an annual contribution of more than £85bn, with a social value – including physical and mental health and wellbeing, individual and community development – of more than £72bn.

Grassroots sport, fitness, and wider recreational activity is proven to improve physical, mental, and social wellbeing. This makes our sector an essential service as our nation recovers from the damage caused by Covid-19.

Prime Minister – you've long been a champion of the benefits of a physically active lifestyle and we were heartened to hear that commitment renewed this summer with the launch of the Government's obesity strategy. Our combined sector is delighted to be showcasing its reach into the heart of communities this week as part of the inaugural Great British Week of Sport.

However, we are united in our concern that at a time when our role should be central to the nation's recovery, the future of the sector is perilous. Covid-19 has exposed the fragility of vital services and assets, with sports clubs and fitness facilities facing permanent closure, depriving local communities of facilities and programmes on which they depend.

Covid-19 has undermined our commercial revenue streams with both stadia and leisure facilities closed or greatly reduced in capacity. The impact of this will potentially lead to a lost generation of sport and activity. We are particularly concerned about the impact on those whose participation has been limited during the pandemic. Physical activity levels, especially in the most vulnerable groups, are significantly below where they were tracking pre-Covid-19. This is at a time when the Government has committed to levelling up outcomes and opportunities across the country.

In order to play our fullest role, we must survive and stabilise. To do this, we require a comprehensive support package for the sport and physical sector to aid its recovery. This package must combine investment, tax incentives, and regulatory reform. This package of support – a "Sports Recovery Fund" - can form part of the Better Health campaign and be directed to focus on protecting existing jobs and facilities in a way that would:

  • support programmes and facilities that address the health inequalities highlighted by coronavirus especially in women, lower social economic groups, disability and BAME participation;
  • expand the innovations across the sector that we have seen during Covid-19 – making opportunities digital and increasing accessibility across the country.

Our sector will be at the forefront of your Government's plans to improve the health and wellbeing of all communities. It will contribute to solving societal issues the Government faces, including reducing health inequalities, tackling obesity, cutting crime, easing loneliness, and enhancing social cohesion. But to do so effectively, we require your Government's backing.

We ask that this sector's significant contribution to our society is fully recognised in the forthcoming Comprehensive Spending Review. It will mean that, together, the Government and the sports and activity sector will invest in fulfilling the nation's sport and wellbeing potential.

We know your passion for the power of sport. You have set out your belief that sport drives positive change. This is, no doubt, hugely influenced by your role as Mayor of London in delivering the hugely successful London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the legacy vision for sport that event created.

By placing sport and physical activity now at the heart of our nation's renewal and using it to drive new ambitions for health and wellbeing, we can create a strong, prosperous, resilient, and healthy nation for generations to come.

Yours sincerely,

Pete Ackerley

British American Football

Jane Allen

British Gymnastics

Justin Andrews

You Fit

Craig Anthony

British Wrestling

Joanne Ashton


Simon Bailey

Serco Leisure

David Bibby

Everyone Active

Mark Braithwaite


Jason Brautigam

British Dressage

Mark Bullingham

Football Association

Peter Burt

Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles

Bill Bush

Premier League

Béatrice Butsana-Sita

Greenhouse Sports

Marcus Capel

The Pony Club

Joanna Coates

UK Athletics

Jon Cockcroft

Bowls England

Fran Connolly

England Netball

Laura Cordingley

Chance to Shine

Mark Coups

England Lacrosse

Dave Courteen

Mosaic Spa and Health Clubs

Richard Darwin

The Gym Group

Andrew Denton

Outdoor Industries Association

Tara Dillon


Lisa Dodd-Mayne

University of Warwick

Michelle Draper

British Ice Skating

Huw Edwards


David English

AJ Products

Mike Evans

EFL Trust

Tim Fawke

Snowsport England

John Fletcher

Northampton Leisure Trust

Peter Gilpin

LED Leisure Management Ltd

Kevin Gorman

National Council for Metal Detecting

Iain Graham

British Equestrian / British Showjumping

Tanni Grey-Thompson


Peter Guy

Gym Works

Glenn Hall

Parkwood Leisure

Dean Hardman

AoC Sport

Gary Hargraves


Julie Harrington

British Cycling

Tom Harrison

England and Wales Cricket Board

Sara Heath

Pentathlon GB

James Hicks

British Horse Society

Stephanie Hilborne

Women in Sport

Si Hill

UK Ultimate

James Hope-Gill

Skateboard England / Skateboard GB

Ivan Horsfall Turner

Freedom Leisure

Phil Horton

Miha Bodytec

Councillor James Jamieson


Gethin Jenkins

England Boxing

Chris Jones

England Athletics

David Joy

British Canoeing

Natalie Justice-Dearn

Rounders England

Arun Kang

Sporting Equals

Peter Kay

Fusion Lifestyle

Neil King

Energie Fitness

Marcus Kingwell


Sophie Lawler

Total Fitness

James Lawrence

Lifestyle Fitness

Mark Lawrie


Scott Lloyd

Lawn Tennis Association

Stuart Margetts

Our People

Lee Mason

Active Partnerships

Marg Mayne

Mytime Active

Paul McPartlan

Places Leisure

Ashley Metcalfe

British Weightlifting

Sarah Mortiboys

Dallaglio RugbyWorks

Dan Newton


Jane M Nickerson

Swim England

Phil Nunnerley

Endurance GB

Tove Okunniwa

London Sport

Ali Oliver

Youth Sport Trust

John Oxley

Places Leisure

Andy Parkinson

British Rowing

Rebecca Passmore

Pure Gym

Lisa Pearce

British Wheelchair Basketball

Matthew Pengelly

Matrix Fitness

Nick Pink

England Hockey

Joyce Power


Brendon Pyle

The Golf Foundation

Andy Reed

Sport for Development Coalition

Paul Richardson


Ralph Rimmer

Rugby Football League

Scott Rolfe

Halo Leisure

Mark Sesnan

Greenwich Leisure Limited

Mike Sharrock

Paralmpics GB

Bill Sweeney

Rugby Football Union

Chris Symons

BH Live

Peter Thompson

English Indoor Bowling Association

Jeremy Tomlinson

England Golf

John Treharne

The Gym Group

Chris Turner

GM Active

Mark Tweedie

Community Leisure UK

Jean-Claude Vacassin

The International Fitness Business Alliance

Colin Wagget

Third Space

Lisa Wainwright

Sport and Recreation Alliance

Nicola Walker


Ben Wilkins

Good Boost

Sue Wilkinson

Association for Physical Education

Mark Winder

Goalball UK

Tom Withers

Gladstone MRM

Keir Worth

England Squash

Dave Wright


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