Scotland’s national agency for sport has put in place a further package of measures to support the nation’s sporting system as it continues to tackle challenges relating to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Central to sportscotland’s response is a decision to provide Scottish governing bodies of sport (SGBs) and local partners across the sporting system with the final six months of their annual investment (£16 million), without the usual targets and outcomes attached to funding.
At the same time sportscotland is creating a £1.5 million fund to provide additional support to SGBs. Full details of the SGB Covid Support Fund will be made available to governing bodies in the coming weeks.
Stewart Harris, sportscotland chief executive, said: "Scotland's sporting system has shown incredible resilience during this difficult period. It has been far from easy for SGBs, local partners and the wider sporting system, but there has been a shared commitment that has allowed us to continue to make progress.
"That work is ongoing and there are still a number of challenges that lie ahead. We remain in the middle of a public health emergency and the virus has not gone away but the early release of this funding, along with the relaxation of all associated targets and the creation of the SGB Covid Support Fund, will allow our partners to fully focus on the challenges ahead.
"We all want to see sport return safely and we will continue to do all that we can to achieve this. The coming weeks and months will be crucial if we are to build on the progress that has already been made and to ensure that we can get back towards something like normal.”
The investment, which is funded jointly by the Scottish Government and The National Lottery, will help protect 1,600 jobs. This includes more than 1,000 jobs in SGBs and a further 600 with local partners and clubs and community organisations across the country as part of the Community Sport Hub (CSH), Direct Club Investment (DCI) and Active Schools programmes.
The funding forms part of wider support provided by Scottish Government and The National Lottery to help organisations and communities across the country deal with the impact of the pandemic. Discussions are also ongoing with local partners to identify any further support that may be required.
In addition to the accelerated funding package, sportscotland is continuing to work with partners to develop and implement plans for the safe return of sport in line with the latest public health guidance.
An online COVID officer training module has been developed to help SGBs, local partners, clubs and community organisations across the country welcome people back safely in line with the latest guidance. The COVID officer’s role is to oversee public health and safety measures are implement in a safe manner and adheres to the latest guidance.
To help venue operators, sports clubs and organisations prepare for the safe opening of indoor and outdoor facilities, sportscotland also has published an extensive range of resources to help plan and prepare for when sport can resume. Visit the sportscotland website for the latest information and guidance documents.
This support comes just days before indoor sports facilities and gyms across the country will be able to open to the public for the first time since the start of the pandemic. Although this is welcome news, it is likely that venue operators will take a phased approach to the reopening of facilities due to the ongoing challenges being faced across the sector.
Find out more
Visit the sportscotland website for advice on 'Getting your facilities fit for sport'
Support for sport - read about the previous aid package provided in May 2020