Over 100 local sports clubs associated with Surrey have benefited from around half a million pounds of emergency funding from Sport England in response to the coronavirus lockdown.
As many people have found during lockdown, staying physically active can greatly improve your wellbeing. Most immediately, exercise is a mood enhancer, particularly if people are able to get outside to stay fit. It’s the reason why the Government included it as one of its initial four reasons for being outside your home.
In normal times, thousands across Surrey maintain their fitness levels through membership of community sports clubs, but one of the very real dangers of the coronavirus crisis was that clubs could fold due to a lack of income. Realising this, Sport England launched a Community Emergency Fund in March which has so far allotted £20m of its £35m total.
The fund is not currently accepting any new applications due to the volume of bids alredy received, but it seems likely that other Surrey clubs may benefit from future awards. So far over £470,000 has been associated with clubs located in, or run from the county.
From well-loved football, rugby and cricket clubs to smaller organisations including martial arts providers and angling societies, Sport England money has helped meet some of the immediate needs of clubs whose very existences were threatened.
Speaking about the grants, Active Surrey’s Managing Director Lil Duggan said “Staying active is vital for everyone’s wellbeing. Thousands of adults and children across Surrey enjoy sport via local clubs and it’s important that we come out of lockdown with as many of those organisations as possible intact and ready to welcome back new and existing members.
“Giving people access to a wide range of leisure options including those offered by community clubs is one way to help everyone be more active. Movement through sport or simply walking and cycling more is one way to improve our health, with weight a factor for many of those battling the effects of COVID-19.”