Made by Sport has launched the ‘Clubs In Crisis’ competition which is asking sports organisations across the UK to share stories about issues that the pandemic has created in their communities and the impact it has had on the club’s ability to continue supporting young people.
Three community-based clubs will win £5,000 each to help them cover the costs of lockdown and to help ensure they can open their doors again.
Stories can simply be uploaded online and tagged #ClubsinCrisis with the aim of creating a large body of compelling evidence via local stories that grassroots sports clubs deserve more financial support.
Made By Sport, an official charity partner of the Sport for Development Coalition, was founded in the belief that some of the toughest issues facing communities can be tackled through sport. That’s why it campaigns and fundraises to support clubs and groups that change lives through sport.
These clubs are often people’s easiest way to access sport and they have an immensely positive impact not just on the lives of those that attend but also on the communities in which they exist.
Recent research from Sheffield Hallam University stated that for every £1 invested in community sport and physical activity in England (financial and non-financial), £3.89 worth of social impact was created for individuals and society, in terms of improved mental wellbeing, physical health and safer communities, for example.
However, the pandemic means that many of these clubs are struggling to survive. Research by Newton for Made By Sport has revealed that over 40% of these clubs were either in deficit or just breaking even before the pandemic, with many operating on less than £10,000 per annum, with 50% led by volunteers. The impact of Covid-19 and the lockdowns means an estimated 25% of community clubs may not be able to open their doors again.
The social impacts of this problem are exacerbated by the fact that over half of the clubs most at risk are in the most deprived areas of the UK. These are areas where they are needed most and over two million young people will be impacted, in what has already been a very difficult year for these communities.
Justin King, Chairman of Made by Sport, said: “The impact of closing sports centres and clubs up and down the country must not be underestimated.
“Whether it is the long-term prospects of the clubs themselves or the physical and mental decline of those that can no longer play the sport they love, they play a crucial role up and down the country.
“We tend not to think about the combined value of these clubs but the sheer scale of them shows how valuable they are: they are in every single town and village across the UK. We need them. They deliver far more than just ‘sport’.”
The #ClubsInCrisis competition will see £15,000 split equally between three clubs. Also on offer will be advice on how to secure more funding and Made By Sport will send its content team to capture each club’s story.
Justin added: “We hope this competition shines a light both on the brilliant clubs up and down the UK that mean so much to so many but also the struggles they are currently facing and why they need further support.”
To enter, members and representatives of sports clubs up and down the country are asked to submit a two-minute video on social media explaining why their club needs the support and why it is so valuable to the local community, using the hashtag #ClubsInCrisis.
The competition will close on 10th December 2020. Read more here.