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Chief executive welcomes further return of recreational sport

Following the government's announcement on when indoor facilities can reopen and how team sport can return, Tim Hollingsworth hopes this can be a turning point towards a more active nation.

09th July 2020

Our chief executive Tim Hollingsworth has welcomed the government's announcement today that recreational sport can continue its return on a larger scale, and that gym and leisure facilities are set to reopen.

The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Oliver Dowden, announced that:

  • indoor gyms, leisure facilities and swimming pools will be able to reopen from 25 July
  • outdoor pools and cricket can begin from 11 July
  • the return of team sports will be facilitated by the relevant national governing body having their own sport-specific guidance approved by government.

All of which Tim hopes will see us work towards a more active nation with a bigger appreciation of the benefits physical activity brings.

“For the millions of people who have missed going to the gym, playing their favourite sport indoors, heading for a swim or training with their teammates, today’s news is an important step forward and testament to the hard work so many have put in to preparing to restart and reopen,” he said.

“Now, more than ever, there is recognition of the vital role sport and activity plays in supporting people’s physical and mental health, so there is a massive opportunity as we emerge from lockdown to truly embrace the idea that exercise is essential to our wellbeing and to recognise the opportunities all around us to be more active.  

“We know that some people have found it difficult to be active in recent months, so the more that is on offer the better, and it’s great news, for example, that recreational cricket can get going from this weekend, that other team sports have a chance to plan their return and that leisure facilities can open their doors later this month.   

“It is critical now, too, that the people who’ve been impacted the most by the lockdown are supported to get active as these restrictions are eased, and we encourage everyone involved in delivering sport and physical activity of any kind to look at the guidance we have developed to support them to do this. 

“We are also acutely aware that many providers, specifically public leisure centres which are such valuable assets in their communities, are facing significant financial challenges and many are at risk of being unable to reopen fully or may remain closed.

“We will continue to work closely with government and key partners to help these operators to get as much support as possible.”

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