MPs are to hold an inquiry into the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on grassroots and community sport.
The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committee has acknowledged the difficulties being faced by grassroots clubs and groups “whose viability was in doubt even before the pandemic”.
The committee’s inquiry, entitled ‘Sport in our Communities’, will provide an opportunity for many organisations within the Sport for Development Coalition’s growing network to describe the challenges they are currently facing. The deadline for written submissions is November 16.
Many organisations have been hit hard as a result of restrictions put in place to limit the spread of the virus, resulting in a lack of vital income from a variety of sources, from memberships and subscriptions to funding from contracts.
Their inability to deliver the programmes and projects they run limits their ability to drive positive social outcomes amongst individuals and communities who face the greatest need, for example around improving physical and mental health, increasing employability skills and community cohesion.
The inquiry will also consider how sport under the remits of UK Sport and Sport England is funded and governed.
DCMS committee chair Julian Knight said: “We’ve heard a lot about Covid’s impact on elite professional sport but we want to shift the focus to our communities – our venues, clubs and local teams, who play football, rugby or cricket.
“Grassroots sport has been hit particularly hard by lockdown and concerns over public health. We cannot take for granted the survival of clubs that offer so much to the people who engage with them and support them.
“We’ll be looking at what help is needed now to safeguard sports clubs especially those whose viability was in doubt even before the pandemic. We’ll be questioning the organisations whose role it is to actively support them and asking when it comes to spending public money, how far up the ladder should community sport come?”