This week marks an important next step towards the return of sport in communities across the country with indoor sports courts and swimming pools now able to reopen in line with the latest Scottish Government public health guidance.
The Scottish Sports Governing Bodies Forum and Executive Group welcomes Monday’s communication from Stewart Harris, CEO, sportscotland announcing the release of a £1.5m COVID Support Fund to support Scotland’s sporting system (Sportscotland set up £1.5m Covid support fund for governing bodies). This timely statement recognises that whilst progress has been made with the re-opening of sports facilities across Scotland, this does not mean a full restart of sport as we know it and that many sports, particularly those reliant on accessing indoor sports facilities for Club training and competition, face a much slower return as local Trusts and leisure operators take a cautious and phased approach to the re-opening of their facilities.
We want to see more progress made in line with the latest public health guidance at all levels of sport, to ensure that clubs and local communities have access to facilities. The SGB Forum continues working with partners across the sporting system including sportscotland, the Scottish Government and Local Authorities and Local Trusts to bring about the safe return of sport, and is committed to ensuring that all of Scotland’s sports club members, volunteers and communities can access critical and much loved sporting and physical activity opportunities as soon as possible.
However, whilst there is a clear desire from all partners to reopen facilities and get our sports into these facilities as quickly as is safely possible, the ongoing difficulties presented by COVID-19, including facility staff on furlough, training requirements and venue remodelling to comply with social distancing measures, means that it is unlikely that all venues will be able to reopen fully for some time to come.
In the meantime, as a sector, we need the support, understanding and backing of all our Clubs and Members now more than ever as we work to protect the rich sporting fabric of our nation and strive to bring sporting activity back to being at the heart of our Scottish communities once more.
The Scottish Governing Bodies Forum.