WHILE football might still dominate the sports headlines, fears are growing that COVID-19 will spell the end for a raft of sport and leisure facilities and services across Scotland’s community landscape.
The Observatory for Sport in Scotland (OSS) today (Thursday) launches a nationwide survey of sport, leisure and recreation organisations where it asks what the serious the impact of the coronavirus has been in the first month of lockdown and what the outlook may be post-COVID-19 and into the future.
Executive director of the sport think-tank, David Ferguson, explained: “There were real concerns around Scotland prior to COVID-19 that public investment in sport and leisure in 2020-21 would continue the trend downwards, and with that organisations were already having to look at potential closures.
“Now, with the millions of pounds that is being taken out of those budgets, necessarily, to fight COVID-19, there are growing fears that some facilities, particularly in deprived areas, will never again open their doors. This is not unique to Scotland. It is a pandemic with similar global impact, and it is widely agreed that the effects will be felt for years to come.
“The OSS is working with the sport and leisure sector to develop a clearer picture of exactly what the impact of lockdown is here in Scotland, how people, clubs and organisations think they can recover, and what they need to recover.
“It is likely that we will need to find new approaches to community sport, new opportunities, new models, and we want to bring those ideas to the fore too.
“We are holding a free sport webinar today (1pm), where we’ll hear from people at the sharp end of running facilities and delivering sport, and the first survey will be conducted over the next two weeks.”
To take part in the webinar or survey, go to www.oss.scot.
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Contact: David Ferguson