Clubs and their players, coaches, parents and volunteers face another frustrating period of enforced closure following the decision to introduce fresh restrictions in the ongoing fight against Covid-19.
But the pace of GiveToLocal’s mission to back sport, boost business and build networks won’t slacken as we focus on supporting communities when and where it matters most.
“We feel for all the people who are directly affected by the latest measures put in place across the UK,” said GiveToLocal CEO Neil Gardiner.
“The businesses, the clubs, the teams and the individuals at the heart of our communities all face another tough few weeks.
“It’s a rollercoaster for everyone. We’re missing out on the social side of sport and we can’t meet friends and family or support the local businesses like we used to.
“It’s a very difficult situation and it’s understandable that people feel increasingly weary due to the prolonged nature of the pandemic.
“But with the vaccines being rolled out I do feel as if there is something to look forward to on the horizon.
“And we’re remaining positive and continuing to be proactive. Community sport is facing a temporary shutdown but GiveToLocal will be working harder than ever behind the scenes.”
New clubs are joining the GiveToLocal community daily. At the same time a range of businesses are becoming part of a like-minded network committed to supporting community sport.
“We’re progressing with exciting plans today with as much gusto as we had yesterday,” added Neil. “The latest lockdowns don’t change that.
“The support we’re receiving from the corporate community proves that there’s a common desire to protect the things that we care about most.
“It’s absolutely vital that our local clubs and businesses get back up and running as soon as it’s safe to do so.”
As a result of the latest lockdown, golf courses, tennis courts and outdoor gyms were all told they must close.
Organised team sport for Under 18s is also on hold in England under the new rules announced by the Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
And with most indoor gyms and pools already closed across the UK, exercise for the majority of people will be limited to cycling, running or walking outdoors until late February at the earliest.
But GiveToLocal is determined to reward the resilience of communities across the UK by impacting positively on even more clubs — in spite of the latest lockdown.
Last month we announced our 21 for 2021 initiative after we pledged to support 21 sports in 2021.
Table tennis, squash, badminton, rowing, judo and dodgeball are new additions to the GiveTolocal roster.
And Neil added: “The return to a full national lockdown doesn’t affect our plans to do everything that we can for those 21 sports this year.
“In fact, it’s focused our minds and reminded everyone involved in the organisation why we have such a vital role to play.
“Community sport has bounced back time and time again during the last 10 months and it will do so again. I’m convinced of that.
“We’ll be here when it does and we want our clubs to know that.”