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Coronavirus: an update from Sport England

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Coronavirus: an update from Sport England 

We’re beginning an initial three-month period of significant flexibility to reflect our and your current circumstances.

17th March 2020

We know this is a hugely difficult time for all our partners and we’re continuing to talk to as many of you as possible to get a fuller picture about the impact coronavirus (COVID-19) is having.

On Monday 16 March, we set out our two immediate priorities over this period:

  • Supporting the sector to ensure it comes through this period in as strong a position as possible
  • Doing everything we can to encourage people to stay active, wherever possible, which we think is now more important than ever.

Supporting the sector – flexibilities

As part of delivering on these priorities, today we want to offer some specific reassurances to any individual or organisation who receives funding, or any other type of support from us, for their work.

Today we can confirm that, for an initial period of three months, we’re introducing significant flexibility to reflect our current circumstances in how we manage that support.

We know that:

  • It may be difficult to deliver projects, programmes or events as planned – so if you receive funding from us for something specific, but it’s no longer possible to deliver it, or you want, or need, to deliver it in a different form, speak to us about the changes you want to make and we can discuss funding in this new context
  • The timings of your work may need to change from what we’d previously agreed – if you feel this is the case, please discuss with us the changes you think you might need to make and we’ll support you to do that
  • The KPIs, targets and conditions within the funding agreements we have with you may not be relevant, appropriate or proportionate given the drastically changed circumstances – our focus is on achieving our key priorities around supporting the sector and encouraging people to stay active, not on asking you to report on previously agreed conditions
  • More generally, you may want to use the money you receive from us in a different way, or on different things, to respond to the current situation or to keep your organisation going – we can be clear now that you are able to do this, and should discuss with us the changes you’d like to make.
  • If we’ve committed to providing you, your organisation or your project with future funding or any other support, we remain absolutely committed to doing that, but we’ll listen to you and be as flexible as we can be as to where, how and when that funding is deployed.

Please do discuss this with your point of contact within Sport England, or you can get in touch with us using, calling us on 03458 508 508 or using our live chat function if you want to discuss what this means for you specifically.

Other funding support

We also have significant concerns about the impact coronavirus will have financially on certain partners and we’re looking at options that will help to mitigate this.

We’re exploring a number of ideas, for example opening up applications to our Small Grants scheme to those that have lost income – modelled on our successful Flood Relief Fund – and allowing extensions of existing grants for those already in receipt of funding who have a critical funding shortfall.

In addition to this, we’re continuing to work with many of you to understand the ongoing and future impact of coronavirus and we want to make sure that whatever action we take has the greatest positive impact. So, we want to hear from you now about the issues you’re facing and to take on board these ideas and concerns to feed into our plans.

Please contact us via and let us know:

  • How coronavirus is impacting you or your organisation
  • The type of help you think would be most beneficial.

Please keep in touch with us via the above email address as you or your organisation’s situation changes.

Keeping active

The coronavirus crisis is unprecedented in modern times and it could have a significantly negative impact on the nation’s physical activity levels.
We don’t want that to happen, so we’ll do everything we can to support people to get and stay active – provided they are well enough.
That’s because physical activity matters during this period and, actually, we think it’s more important than ever right now.
Being active in a way that is right for you, can improve your physical health, help manage stress and anxiety and just generally make you feel better.
You can also still go outside for a walk, run, cycle – or any other way you normally get active outside – provided you are doing so in a way that meets the latest guidance on social distancing and advice on unnecessary social contact.

That advice is now recommending against non-essential contact and all unnecessary travel – including working from home if you can. If you’re spending more and more time at home, and if you feel well, there’s a wealth of free online content to help you get active – we’re collating some of this and are encouraging people to share some of the best ideas they find online using #StayInWorkOut.

We’ve also set up this page directing you to some of these.

We’ll continue to talk about the importance of staying active through this period and do whatever we can to encourage and motivate people.

There’ll be plenty more to say in the days and weeks ahead.

Keep up to date with the latest news via the Sport England website.