Alliance response to announcement of new lockdown

Swim England ()

On the evening of Saturday 31 October, the Prime Minister announced a new lockdown is to come into effect for four weeks, starting on Thursday 5 November.

As part of the measures, leisure centres and gyms will be forced to close.

Responding to this announcement, Sport and Recreation Alliance CEO Lisa Wainwright said: “This is understandably a tough decision and one which impacts the whole country. It can’t be dismissed or ignored that we are in a public health crisis, but we remain resolute in our support for leisure facilities and community sport to be used in the recovery of the nation.

“The closure of our facilities will once again place a financial burden on thousands of community clubs who are already reeling from the initial lockdown and we fear that many may never re-open their doors without a comprehensive Sports Recovery Fund provided by government. With another lockdown looming, this funding is now essential.

“We are deeply concerned that restricting access to these facilities may not only prove to be the final nail in the coffin for a number of these clubs but that we may also see a return to the dramatic drop in activity levels witnessed in the first lockdown, especially in some of our most vulnerable groups.

“Following on from our letter to the Prime Minister signed by over 160 leaders in the physical activity sector, we strongly urge government to now action our asks and to save our sports – for the sake of the nation.

“It is clear, to help us get through this pandemic and to support the NHS, we need people to be active and healthy. We need support to ensure that once lockdown ends, our facilities and clubs can welcome their communities back to improve both the physical and mental health of the country.

“The Sport and Recreation Alliance will continue to work tirelessly with our members, DCMS and officials in government to protect the future of community sport and to support the nation’s recovery from COVID-19.”