A £4million fund has been launched by Sport Wales to help grassroots sports clubs and community organisations that have been badly hit by the Covid-19 pandemic and help them prepare to re-start activities safely.
The new ‘Be Active Wales Fund’ has been created with the support of Welsh Government and repurposed money from the National Lottery.
Over the last two months, more than £600,000 of emergency funding has been awarded by Sport Wales to help more than 300 clubs in immediate financial danger.
Now, thanks to the Be Active Wales Fund, even more clubs can safeguard their future by applying for a grant of between £300 and £50,000.
Sarah Powell, Chief Executive of Sport Wales, said: “Grassroots sport has been hit incredibly hard. Thankfully, emergency funding has already saved a huge number of clubs, and we’re pleased to be able to launch this new fund which will provide even more support at a time when it is so badly needed.
“Our clubs and groups are crucial in keeping the people of Wales active. If they don’t stay afloat or they can’t reopen safely, we can expect another crisis – that of inactivity and ill-health. We must not let that happen. Clearly, clubs will need to adapt many of their activities so that they fully adhere to health guidelines and social distancing requirements. The Be Active Wales Fund will help make that possible.”
Sarah added: “Whilst it is heartening to see the essential importance Government has placed on exercise during this pandemic, research has found that many of the inequalities which already existed in sports participation have unfortunately been intensified during lockdown, notably for those living in deprived areas.
“A reduction in young people’s activity levels has been particularly worrying, so it is essential that we work with our partners such as national governing bodies and local authorities to ensure that the Be Active Wales Fund reaches those communities and groups who need it most. This is a collective opportunity to renew and re-imagine what sport can, should and will have to be in the future.”
Full information about the Be Active Wales Fund, including details on how to apply, can be found at www.sport.wales/beactivewalesfund.