Grassroots sports clubs across Wales are being urged to apply for a new fund to help them survive the coronavirus pandemic and prepare to restart their activities safely.
Sport Wales has launched the £4m “Be Active Wales Fund”, made possible thanks to Welsh Government and repurposed money from the National Lottery.
During the last two months, more than £600,000 of emergency funding has already been awarded by Sport Wales to help more than 300 clubs which were in immediate financial danger.
Now, thanks to the Be Active Wales Fund, even more community clubs and organisations can safeguard their future by applying for a grant of between £300 and £50,000.
Applications can be made online at www.sport.wales/beactivewalesfund.
Grassroots sports clubs and organisations at risk of folding because of the Covid-19 crisis may need funding to help pay rent, utility costs, insurances or any fixed costs they may have for facility or equipment hire.
Sporting national governing bodies are providing full guidance each time the Welsh Government gives the go ahead for different forms of activity to resume, and the Be Active Wales Fund will help clubs make any adaptations needed so that activities are safe.
For instance, one-way systems, hand sanitisers, online booking platforms and health and safety signs are now commonplace at golf clubs which have re-opened.
Sport Wales Chief Executive Sarah Powell said:
“We’re making every effort to help grassroots sport get through the current crisis. The Be Active Wales Fund will protect community clubs and organisations, and help them prepare for the sporting life alongside Covid-19.
“Our clubs and groups are crucial in keeping the people of Wales active. If they don’t stay afloat or they can’t reopen safely, we can expect another crisis – that of inactivity and ill-health. We must not let that happen.”
Neath Port Talbot Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance, Cllr Carol Clement-Williams, added: “We have a proud sporting heritage in Neath Port Talbot with a large number of sports clubs and organisations that do so much to help keep our communities active.
“This new funding will provide a lifeline to help those clubs and organisations to not only stay afloat, but also rebuild ready for when it’s safe for activities to resume so we are advising our local grassroots sports clubs to apply for help from this fund.
“Research carried out by Sport Wales suggests that the inequality gap in sports participation has intensified across Wales during lockdown, most notably among young people living in deprived areas. We certainly don’t want this worrying trend to become a habit, so we will do everything we can to play our part in ensuring that the Be Active Wales Fund reaches our communities who need it most.”
Full information about the Be Active Wales Fund, including details on how to apply, can be found at www.sport.wales/beactivewalesfund .