Like so many others, the sport and physical activity sector has already been significantly challenged by coronavirus (COVID-19) and this is only likely to accelerate in the weeks and months ahead.
We have two key priorities during this period.
The first is supporting the sector to ensure that it comes through this period in as strong a position as possible.
The second is doing everything we can to encourage people to stay active, wherever possible, which we think is now more important than ever.
So what are we doing?
We're in regular communication with our partners and we're intelligence gathering about the impact of the virus on the sector. We have significant concerns, in particular about the financial impact of this period 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 fund to those that have lost income - modelled on our successful Flood Relief Fund.
We're also discussing the extensions of existing grants for those already in receipt of funding who have a critical funding shortfall.
We want to make sure that whatever action we take has the greatest positive impact. So, we want to hear from the sector now about the issues they're facing and to take on board their ideas and concerns to feed into our plans.
Please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org 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 this email address as your or your organisation's situation changes.
It's also important to say that all our existing funding will continue as normal, so if you already receive funding from us you can rely on that.
An important part of our work is to keep the nation active through this difficult period and our projects and programmes are vital in doing that.
Finally, we're in regular dialogue with government, especially the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and Public Health England, to ensure that we're sharing the best advice possible and that government has the fullest possible picture of the impact this period will have on the sector.
We'll provide more detailed communications on all of this as soon as possible.
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.
Official 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 will be plenty more to say in the days and weeks ahead.