Sport England have announced a new funding package that will help schools reopen their facilities to public at the end of the pandemic.
£10.1 million of money from the UK government will be provided by the Department of Education, as well as £1.5 million from the School Sport and Activity Action Plan announced by Sport England in 2019.
It is hoped that the funding will allow for schools to deliver extra-curricular activities outside of the usual school day, including evenings, weekends and school holidays to give children the opportunity to return to physical activity, which is said to have depleted drastically throughout the last year where the COVID-19 crisis has prevented such activities from taking place.
Distribution of the funding will be supported by Sport England's nationwide network of Active Partnerships, who focus on people in their respective areas to be involved with sport and activity.
"Schools play a vital role in keeping young people active and the pandemic has had a huge impact on their ability to open up their facilities,” said Tim Hollingsworth, CEO at Sport England.
"With this new investment, Active Partnerships will provide support and funding for their local schools so they can open after school and during the school holidays, providing more sports clubs and activity facilities to children and the wider community."
Sport England noted that the move will allow Active Partnerships to support local schools in understanding the challenges they face when opening their facilities in a COVID-secure manner. The funding will be used to not only purchase new equipment but acquire additional cleaning and clear COVID-safe signage, reminding those to keep a safe social distance.
Author: Jake Wilkin