Message to the Sport and Recreation Alliance
Who would have believed it seven weeks ago when the lockdown came into effect that we would still be under the same restrictions now? The remarkable speed with which communities reacted has been impressive. More heartening still is the fortitude, imagination and ingenuity shown by so many individuals, most especially within the sport and recreation community.
A great many people have sought solace in physical activity and it has been inspiring to see the amount of sessions and practical advice that you have been delivering. Online dance sessions, sporting challenges as well as health and wellbeing tips are just some of the activities you have helped with. Not only have these often caused a smile on people’s faces during a sombre time, but also have helped many to discover the joy in being active.
I also know many of you have been taking part in the 2.6 Challenge. Thank you for giving our charity sector a welcome boost at a time when many have lost essential funding as a result of the Covid-19. Having said that, our sector is also facing unprecedented challenges with financial, logistical and staffing pressures. A total disruption of mass events and favourite occasions.
Yet many of you are remaining positive and resilient, connecting with teammates, colleagues and the wider sport and recreation family. Do not underestimate the importance this is playing for the nation’s physical and mental health. I trust that the Alliance and our staff are helping to provide the necessary support. I know that we will continue to share and highlight the incredible work that continues to be delivered in the toughest of circumstances.
Perhaps for the first time, the whole sport and recreation community is in the same predicament, regardless of size or profile or means. It is likely that we will continue to be in this position as some of the restrictions begin to ease, for a return to normal could be some way off and probably determined by the introduction of a vaccine. In which case, I urge you please to continue to collaborate, share ideas and best practice. By working together, we are much more likely to find the ways and means to reopen our fields, waterways, centres and facilities.
I look forward to seeing you all at a Sport and Recreation Alliance event soon, even if it's via video-conference or spread around a sports pitch!
HRH The Earl of Wessex