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Support for the physical activity sector during the coronavirus outbreak

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is presenting a huge challenge for the physical activity sector, but there is support available for organisations and individuals affected.

On this page you'll find links to advice and support which will help you to get through this time. We'll be updating it regularly so please check for the latest information.

As of 29 March, Norfolk is in step one of the government's 'Spring Response' roadmap. For the physical activity sector, this means that outdoor sports may resume in a Covid-safe manner, provided they adhere to the rules laid out. Outdoor swimming pools, sports courts and pitches and golf courses may reopen, provided they have undertaken a risk assessment and made any modifications laid out by appropriate National Governing Bodies (NGBs). You can find more on this below.

Indoor classes will not yet be permitted, unless they fall under an exemption such as disability provisions. Leisure centres, gyms and other indoor provisions are expected to open on April 12, provided the roadmap stays on track.

Sport England resources - getting ready for a return to play

Sport England has produced several new resources to help the sport and physical activity sector start to reopen. If your sport has a National Governing Body (NGB) they should also have issued advice along with any modifications required to the sport to return to play. Be sure to check for this advice before allowing members to return to training.

What is required before my club can return to play?

In order to return to play safely, clubs must ensure they are adhering to social distancing guidelines where possible, and implementing best practice procedures to keep participants safe. These include:

  • Screening participants before training: Ask all participants to check for any COVID-19 symptoms prior to attending training. These include a high temperature, new or continuous cough and a loss of smell or taste. These symptoms are not exhaustive, however, and further symptoms to look out for can be found here.
  • Check the guidance for your sport: Every sport's national governing body (NGB) should have published guidance on how to participate safely. You should ensure you're following the latest guidance, and making any recommended changes in advance of your training sessions.
  • Create an action plan and risk assessment: All organised sports providers should undertake a risk assessment to determine the level of risk and how they can work to mitigate it. For more information or help developing a risk assessment, click here. You should ensure your club members are aware of this plan and doing everything they can as a team to stick to any restrictions in place.
  • Promote hygiene: Avoid equipment sharing where possible, and continue to sanitise all equipment frequently. Promote the washing and sanitising of participants' hands. Encourage participants to bring their own water bottles, and be in charge of their own kits. You can also find downloadable posters to send to members and put up in order to encourage people to follow these best practises.
  • Minimise use of facilities: Changing rooms should remain closed, other than to accommodate emergencies or those living with disabilities. Toilet facilities should be accessible, but participants should be encouraged to avoid use where possible (by arriving in appropriate attire, for example). Consider setting a meeting time to avoid congregating prior to or after the training session.

For a full list of guidelines, check out the government website.

The published resources will help plan for a safe return and support the sector to keep staff, volunteers, members and participants informed of their responsibilities around social distancing and hygiene, and will work alongside both existing and forthcoming government guidance.

The resources, which are in addition to the insight and hygiene guidance published by Sport England, include:

  • inclusion and accessibility guidance – helping you to understand who can get active, how you can engage specific audiences and how to ensure your facilities are, and remain, accessible to all when allowed to reopen.
  • support for the professional workforce – including advice on staffing considerations for paid works as well as support available.
  • volunteering guidance – setting out some of the main considerations to help your volunteers return safely, well-informed and prepared.
  • managing liability and risk guidance – to give providers, be they clubs, governing bodies, community groups or regional associations, advice on what issues need considering and how they might tackle them in order to safely return to play.

There's also support for sports clubs and organisations on the Club Matters website, including:

  • Reopening toolkit – this includes information on how your club/organisation can plan its return to sport, with advice on what you need to think about across different areas such as reopening your facility and protecting your people.
  • Risk register template – this template, with a dedicated user guide, is designed to help your club/organisation introduce or update your practices regarding how you manage risks.
  • Creating a risk assessment – this draws from the current Health and Safety Executive advice and provides step-by-step guidance to help organisations address risk, including coronavirus-specific considerations.
  • Social distancing guidance – this resource covers the different practices and considerations your club/organisation may need to introduce so that social distancing can be implemented in line with current government advice.
  • Free online seminars - these can cover any topics you're unsure on and give you the opportunity to see their uses in action.

Government guidance on the phased return of sport and recreation

Sport England financial support

Sport England has announced a support package of up to £195 million to help meet the needs of the physical activity sector.

This package consists of:

  • A new £20 million Community Emergency Fund, which is open now for local club and community organisations to bid for grants between £300 and £10,000. THIS FUND IS NOW CLOSED TO NEW APPLICATIONS
  • A new £5 million fund for existing Sport England partners facing specific and immediate financial difficulty.
  • £55 million put aside to support the sector during an ongoing period of restrictions; to fund new and innovative ways to keep people active and then, when it is over, to help organisations get back to business and adjust to a different environment.
  • A £115 million rollover of current funding into 2021/22 to give certainty to over 100 well established partners who play a vital role in the delivery of sport and physical activity in England, and whose current funding agreements with Sport England run out in March 2021.

Full details, including the application process for the new Community Emergency Fund are available on the Sport England website here .

Crowdfunder and Sport England have teamed up to make £1 million of match funding available to organisations in the sport and physical activity sector when you raise money through crowdfunding. Click here for details of eligibility and how to apply.

If you're running a Sport England-funded programme then the key message is that there's going to be flexibility around delivery plans and targets. They're also open to listening to suggestions to use previously agreed funds in new ways that will help you meet objectives, even if that means a re-think about how you do that to meet the needs of our now fast-changing world. Find out more.

Active Norfolk Webinar on the Community Emergency Fund

On Thursday, May 7th Active Norfolk hosted a webinar to support community sport and physical activity organisations with accessing Sport England's £20 million Community Emergency Fund.

You can watch the webinar recording below.

Business support and advice

Government support for businesses

The support available nationally is rapidly changing. The latest information can always be found here:

Further support for businesses, charities, and community organisations

Discounted online mental health awareness course

UK Coaching, 1st4sport and partners – Mind and Sport England – are delighted to announce that the online course 'Mental Health Awareness for Sport and Physical Activity'is now £8.99 to for the whole coaching community.

Usually £18, the course, which on completion will give you 3 CIMSPA CPD points, is ideal for those involved in delivering coaching in a club, leisure centre or any other community sports & physical activity setting, such as:

  • coaches
  • activators
  • fitness instructors and personal trainers
  • sports administrators
  • front of house staff, and
  • volunteers

Take this fantastic opportunity to equip yourself with the knowledge, skills and confidence to better understand and support people living with mental health problems, and support your own mental health in the process.

To enrol on the course click here

Free resources to help your wellbeing

It's essential to look after your mental health and wellbeing – and small adaptations to your lifestyle can make it easier.

UK Coaching have selected five free resources to help give you some ideas.

  1. Webinar (Register / Login to access): Prioritising Your Well-being: Strategies to Take Away and Try (with mental health charity Mind) Click here to register
  2. Infographic: Fifteen Ways to Improve Coach Well-being Click here to access
  3. Tips: Resilience-Building Toolkit Click here to access
  4. Webinar: Exploring Our Duty to Care as Coaches Click here to view
  5. Podcast: Adam Morris Talks Mental Well-being Click here to listen

Online training and resources

CIMSPA (The Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity) Stronger Together Hub

CIMSPA is the lead organisation for the workforce in the sport and physical activity sector and are here to help their members, partners and the wider sector during these challenging times.

They have created a hub as a place where they have bought together advice and practical assistance on coronavirus (Covid-19), including generous offers of support from many of their partners.

This hub can be accessed here

UK Coaching Resources

UK Coaching's Curious Coaches Club - What are the things that separate good coaches from great coaches? Well, we know that one of those elements is curiosity; it is the urge you feel to know more about something. Alongside this is the knowledge that the more we learn and find out, the more we realise we don't actually know as much as we thought! This is where the 'Curious Coaches Club' comes in!

Each week we will be holding a conversation about a particular coaching topic that we know is important to coaches and one that many would like to learn more about.

The 'Curious Coaches Club' will have three parts to it:

  1. Watch 'A Conversation About…' between expert coaches live on a Monday or on-demand via or their You Tube channel.
  2. Engage and take part in a more in-depth conversation about the topic on Wednesday or Thursday via smaller informal gatherings of coaches hosted by one of the UK Coaching team.
  3. Continue the conversation via the community aspect of 'Connected Coaches' hosted on their website.

Over the coming weeks UK Coaching will be following this process to talk about all sorts of different topics and feel free to share with them if there are any specific topics, discussions or coaches you would like to hear from and they will see what they can do!

Each week we will be holding a conversation about a particular coaching topic that we know is important to coaches and one that many would like to learn more about.

UK Coaching - Safeguarding & Protecting Children Online Classroom

Previously if you needed to undertake an SPC workshop, or renew your certification (every 3 years) you would either have to:

A) If you had not attended a course before you would have to complete your first training at a workshop face-to-face (run by SASP and other organisations). Subsequent renewals could also take place at a face-to-face workshop if wanted.

B) If you have previously attended a face-to-face workshop you can renew your certification through the UK Coaching eLearning course, for more information click here.

Due to the current situation, face-to-face workshops are not taking place. In response to this, UK Coaching – with full support from The Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU) – has created an Online Classroom session out of the existing Safeguarding and Protecting Children face to face workshop. To find out more click here.

UK Coaching - Keeping People Active at Home Infographics

Online Training

Aaron Roberts

Aaron Roberts

Sports Development Officer

  • Coaching lead
  • NGB liaison
  • Locality Support Officer - West Norfolk
01603 679257
07901 588270