Last month, leaders in the activities and sports sector released a joint statement in favour of making sport and recreation a key part of their government policy. The statement was released on behalf of organisations including CIMSPA, Sport and Recreation Alliance, the Sport for Development Coalition, ukactive and Youth Sport Trust.
They urged the provision of support for a sector having faced the pandemic and an energy crisis threatening the survival of facilities.
It was noted that the Energy Bill Discount scheme would not include pools, many of which are coming to the end of their shelf life.
The government ought to take stock of the losses when grassroots and physical activity programmes are reduced and the impact on the communities they serve, including those services related to rehabilitation, older and young people, disabled people and those from ethnically diverse communities.
The sector has urged that the government make three key changes:
- Reclassify swimming pools as energy-intensive within the Energy Bills Discount Scheme
- Set out what tangible support that will help the sector respond to the 2023 energy crisis
- Set out a “plan for the growth” for the sector by aligning the proposed new Sports Strategy with the Spring Budget to unlock the sector’s potential
The risk is that without these key changes, the country will suffer the closure of the leisure and recreation spaces across the country.
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