The outbreak of Coronavirus (Covid-19) has been an experience shared by all but impacting on us very differently. Communities have been at the heart of the response and the sport and physical activity sector has in many cases played a major part in this.
During the outbreak Sport England has been trying to understand and capture what is happening at a local level, how individuals are being affected and how organisations and communities are responding to emerging challenges.
During April and May it reached out to its wide range of trusted relationships to hear the reality of what was happening in local communities and how organisations were responding. Through various discussion sessions it heard from individuals representing local delivery pilots (LDPs), local authorities, leisure trusts, active partnerships and its local government leadership programme.
From these discussions Sport England heard of the widening inequalities, financial pressures, community connectivity and need for organisations to act with agility and at speed. Pulling together ‘what we heard’, it has identified nine emerging themes that have been collated into its ‘Local Voices. Life During Covid-19’ resource. Sport England has brought some of these to life through stories from the front line and a colleague from the Pennine Lancashire LDP, Ken Masser, has given his personal take on life out there.
Discussions often raised more questions than answers. However, these questions can help to focus future thinking and provide points of reflection as the lifting of lockdown measures creates a need for communities to adapt yet again. Sport England say that listening to the ‘local voice’ will remain a priority and it is an important part of helping to inform the development of its new strategy.
Sport England would welcome your feedback on the resource and would invite you to be part of future conversations. Read more.