Sport and Recreation Alliance CEO, Lisa Wainwright responds to the latest government announcement which confirms that indoor leisure and sport facilities will remain closed.
“The announcement from government today that excludes the leisure and physical activity sector in England from re-opening the majority of its indoor facilities is deeply disappointing.
“During his statement, the Prime Minister gave no clear timetable as to when these facilities would be able to re-open. Subsequently, the Culture Secretary has publicly indicated an aspiration to re-open facilities from mid-July.
“We recognise this is a difficult situation, however the sector requires clear, consistent communication from government setting out the precise steps which need to be taken – and when – in order to reopen.
“We must be able to work alongside public health experts to resolve any outstanding problems. We are confident that we are in a position to open and if we are unable to, we must understand why and be given the opportunity to offer solutions.
“It is concerning that no further financial support has been offered to help those affected by the continued closure of these facilities and with many organisations already in financial distress, the lack of additional support will have a dramatic impact on the future of the sector.
“We recognise there is a fine balance to be struck and that any lockdown easing decisions need to be taken carefully, but utilising indoor space for physical activity is the only way that many people engage in sport and recreation, including a large number of people who are considered most vulnerable.
“We find ourselves in the middle of a public health crisis to which sport and recreation must be the answer. Yet we are in danger of losing the very ability to support the health and wellbeing of the nation at this crucial time.
“We want to be clear. We are ready to return.”