As supporters come to terms with the news that they are unlikely to be able to attend sporting fixtures for another six months, those at the heart of the grassroots game have appealed for emergency funding.
And as the nation prepares to tackle a second wave of coronavirus, sport’s uncertain future is preying on the minds of players, parents and volunteers desperate to safeguard clubs at the heart of local communities.
GiveToLocal CEO Neil Gardiner said: “It’s been another tough week for everyone involved with sport.
“Just as it looked as though there might be some light at the end of the tunnel, the very fabric of community sport is under threat again.
“But we’ve already seen just how resilient our teams and clubs can be in the face of adversity and it’s a case of taking stock and starting again.
“What I want to make clear is that GiveToLocal is working harder than ever to support the people working tirelessly to keep grassroots sport alive.
“We’re here for clubs across the country and while we’re already helping almost 60,000 teams in 15 sports we’re determined to do more.
“It’s going to be another very tough period for everyone involved in sport but what I want to say to the players, coaches and volunteers out there is this: we’re right behind you.”
Leaders from more than 100 sport and physical activity bodies have sent a letter to the Prime Minister urging him to ringfence funding for the recovery of the sports and activity sector - or risk fuelling physical inactivity and related illnesses for a generation.
Huw Edwards, CEO of ukactive said: “Our sector is united in its call to the Prime Minister to back grassroots sport and physical activity so that our clubs, gyms and leisure facilities can throw their full weight behind fighting this pandemic.
“This is a health crisis and our sector can play a vital role in supporting our NHS by restoring the nation’s physical and mental resilience in the face of this terrible virus.
“We call on the Government to deliver the urgent fiscal, taxation and regulatory support required to save sports and activity providers across the UK from disappearing from our communities at the time they are needed most.”
Lisa Wainwright, CEO of the Sport and Recreation Alliance, added: “The strength of this coalition from the sports, recreation and activity sector cannot be ignored in its public call to the Prime Minister.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has put an incredible strain on our sector, which was forced to close for a prolonged period.
“It is imperative that our sector gets the support it requires from the Government to get back to business, in order to ease the pressures on the NHS and play a central role in our nation’s recovery from COVID-19.”