Page 1


April 2020 Vol 24


£195m package to help sports sector A total of £195m of National Lottery funding has been made available to help the sport and physical activity sectors through the ongoing coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis. Distributed by Sport England, the funding package will be divided into four main strands. A £20m Community Emergency Fund will be opened immediately for clubs and community organisations, from which grants of between £300 ■■The lockdown has put sports under pressure

and £10,000 will be made available. An additional £55m will be made available to support the sector during

Sport England funding, allowing the

the ongoing period of restrictions.

organisations to bid for grants to tackle specific financial difficulties.

Up to £115m worth of current funding will also be rolled into 2021-22,

Sport England CEO Tim Hollingsworth

to give long term certainty to more

said the package would help the sector get

than 100 organisations that Sport

through the "extremely challenging times". "We want the sector not just to

England has identified as playing a

come through this crisis, but to be in

vital role in the delivery of activities. Separately, a £5m pot will be opened to organisations which already receive

a position to thrive again," he said.

We want the sector to be in a position to thrive again in the future Tim Hollingsworth

More: http:moRe //lei.sr/u8S8R_P Read online



Business rates cut for sports clubs and gyms Chancellor Rishi Sunak extends manifesto pledge

Sport gets stuck in with relief efforts


Clubs launch initiatives to help communities




SM people


Huw AM2 Edwards: "physical activity sector adapting to closures, but reports of eviction threats are shameful"


he physical activity

also looking after the older

sector is adapting to the

and the vulnerable with

difficult circumstances

bespoke programmes."

caused by COVID-19

While Edwards also

(Coronavirus), according to

welcomed the government's

sb sb



ukactive CEO Huw Edwards.


he said there remains

Radio 4's Today programme

work to be done.

on 28 March, Edwards said

"We're seeing our

the closure of all gyms and

members having zero

sporting facilities means


income," Edwards said.

unprecedented challenges.

to really enforce the

that the sector is facing

"We need the government

"It's been a very traumatic period for the leisure sector

issue of freeing up that ■■Edwards said there was work to be done to ensure help is delivered

– for the leadership as well

"It's been a very traumatic week for the fitness and leisure sector – for the leadership as well as the workforce"

"There are great levels of anxiety and stress. But we have to contribute to the fight and support the NHS. "And while facilities are

temporarily closed, they


funding when it comes to private landlords, local


as the workforce," he said.

so so


financial support packages,

Speaking on the BBC

authorities and the banks. "There are some really shameful stories of our members being

are still open for business.

facilities online and providing

threatened with eviction

We are seeing our gyms and

resources, so people can be

and winding-up orders."

leisure centres getting their

active at home. Many are

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leisure opportunities

UK's DCMS Committee, led by Julian Knight, hears from charities over impact of COVID-19 outbreaks

leisure opportunities



he UK's Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee (DCMS) has

"The charities sector is likely to lose £4bn in the next quarter, a third of its usual income over a three-month period"

met to hear from charities charities was also discussed.

support needed to ensure

Committee chair Julian Knight,

of the National Council for

their survival in the wake of

MP for Solihull, urged the

Voluntary Organisations

the COVID-19 pandemic.

government to take immediate

(NCVO), told the committee

action in order to safeguard

that the charities sector

remotely on 31 March to

the sector, while DCMS'

was likely to lose £4bn in

consider the increased

secretary of state and culture

the next quarter, a third

demand facing the charities,

secretary Oliver Dowden

of its usual income over

during a time of growing

was questioned whether

a three-month period.

financial pressure.

funding would be available

The Committee convened

■■Committee chair Julian Knight has urged the UK government to take immediate action to safeguard charities


Karl Wilding, chief executive

over the level of government

Concerns over the long-term

for charitable and voluntary

The pandemic has highlighted the 'essential

impact of the coronavirus is

organisations working directly

services' delivered by charities.

expected to have on these

on tackling the coronavirus.

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© Cybertrek 2020 APRIL 2020

ISSUE 4 2019


■■Sweeney revealed a grassroots support package worth £7m

"We're working hard with the wider rugby community to take the necessary measures to safeguard a financially resilient Union"

Bill Sweeney wants rugby to play 'big role' in energising communities post-outbreak


ugby Football Union

measures to safeguard a

(RFU) chief Bill Sweeney

financially resilient Union."

has said the sport

Sweeney was speaking

wants to play a major part

to the media after the RFU

in getting the public back

launched a support package

to normality, once the

worth £7m, providing financial

restrictions on everyday

support for community

life will be lifted following

clubs across England.

the coronavirus outbreak.

Funded directly from the

"I'm confident that rugby

RFU coffers, the relief package

will play a big role in energising

includes a £5m support loans

communities across England

programme, offering loans of

after this difficult period,"

between £2,000 and £10,000

said Sweeney, who was

to clubs, with deferred

appointed chief executive of

re-payments for six months

the RFU in February 2019.

and repayable over three years.

"In the meantime, we

Clubs with outstanding

are working hard with the

loans have also seen their

wider rugby community

loan repayments suspended.

to take the necessary

More: http://lei.sr/K4D2E_P Read moRe online

APRIL 2020 © Cybertrek 2020






Andy Reed column


Product news


SAPCA update


Sports Management insight

Huw Edwards says physical activity sector adapting to lockdown and Bill Sweeney wants rugby to play a major role in re-energising communities

Business rates cut for small leisure firms, Sport England begins period of 'significant flexibility' and Sector leaders welcome help for self-employed

How is the sport industry responding to the pandemic?

Suppliers tell Sports Management about their latest launches

Guidance on the effects of the pandemic on facility projects

Industry leaders call on government to provide support for the sector

SAPCA Directory


SM Directory


Sign up to Sports Management: Online: www.leisuresubs.com Email: subs@leisuremedia.com Tel: +44 (0)1462 471930 @sportsmag Read Sports Management free online: www.sportsmanagement.co.uk/digital


SM people


Geoff AM2 Webb reveals plans to re-brand IOG and rename organisation as Grounds Management Association


Groundsmanship (IOG) has called an

"We found that the profession is not seen as inclusive – it is the domain of 'older white males'"

extraordinary general

sb sb



he Institute of

meeting, where members

renaming follows research

work – and that grounds

will vote on a resolution to

around attitudes towards the

management is not seen as

change the organisation's

existing IOG name and identity.

an important part of sport.

name to Grounds Management Association.

"The research also showed

Webb said the research had revealed "real concerns".

that there is a lack of understanding of the skills

All IOG members have

"We found that the

been invited to cast their

profession is not seen as

needed for groundsmanship

vote on the matter, with a

inclusive – it is the domain of

and that the profession has

■■Webb said research into

final decision being based

'older white males'," Webb said.

little appeal to young people.

attitudes towards IOG had

on the membership's vote.


revealed 'real concerns'


According to IOG chief

"Worryingly, the name is

"There is also a feeling that no one is standing

seen as old fashioned and as

executive Geoff Webb,

up for our profession and

adding to an outdated image."

the proposed rebrand and

the skilled nature of the

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so Bear so Grylls' Be Military Fit mobilises army of

volunteers – also launches BMF at Home service

lo B



e Military Fit with

According to Chris St

leisure Bear Grylls (BMF) will opportunities leisure activate its network of opportunities

George, chair of NM Capital,

ex-armed forces personnel

behind BMF, the company

and mobilise it in the fight

is particularly well placed

against the COVID-19

to help in major cities.

the private equity firm


(coronavirus) outbreak.

"Our 2,000-strong veteran

The outdoor fitness

member network has

operator's move is a response

military experience and

to the government‘s call to

is well versed in planning,

find 250,000 volunteers to

organising and delivering

help the under-pressure NHS.

in a crisis," St George said.

"When we saw the call for

The volunteer mobilisation

action, we knew we were in a position to help, with a

follows BMF investing heavily ■■Bear Grylls' BMF is stepping up to support the NHS

fleet of vans across the UK

which offers a programme of

"This response was driven by the franchisees themselves and we're committed to contributing to the relief efforts"

and passionate franchisees, staff and members willing to step up," said Jan Spaticchia, vice-chair of BMF. "This response was

in a 'BMF at Home' platform, live-streamed workouts to keep its membership active and safe during the lockdown. The franchise-based BMF normally has operations at

committed to contributing

and supplies to the most

driven by the franchisees

to the government effort to

vulnerable and isolated

65 parks across the UK.

themselves and we're

deliver essential medicine

in our communities."

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© Cybertrek 2020 APRIL 2020

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SM people



MEET THE TEAM For email use: fullname@leisuremedia.com

AM AM Editor

Liz Terry +44 (0)1462 431385

sb sb


Publisher & Advertising

John Challinor +44 (0)1202 742968

HCM ■■In his previous role, Worthy led the Life Fitness brand portfolio Head of news


CLAD "From the moment I learned more about the mission, I was immediately compelled to get involved"

so Dallaglio so RugbyWorks



appoints fitness sector veteran Jason Worthy as CEO lo

leisure opportunities

leisure opportunities


ports charity Dallaglio

people across eight regions

RugbyWorks has

in England and Wales.

appointed Jason

Worthy as its new CEO. Worthy, who until July

Tom Walker +44 (0)1462 431385

News editor

Steph Eaves +44 (0)1462 471934

Product editor

Lauren Heath-Jones +44 (0)1462 471927

The programme helps marginalised teenagers, at risk of being left behind by

2019 was president and CEO

society, to aspire for and

of fitness equipment giant

achieve a better future. Former England rugby

Leisure Media

Roxburgh, who is leaving

captain Lawrence Dallaglio,

the role after nine years.

founder of RugbyWorks, said:

Potmill House, Hitchin, Hets, SG5 1DJ, UK +44 (0)1462 431385 leisuremedia.com firstlast@leisuremedia.com

Life Fitness, replaces Rachel

Roxburgh has been

"In Jason, I know we have

CEO since the launch

recruited an outstanding

of RugbyWorks in 2011.

successor for Rachel and

During her tenure, she has

he will now take us forward

overseen the growth of the

to the next stage."

organisation, including the

Worthy added: "From the

development of a three-year

moment I learned more about

skills-led programme which

the mission I was immediately

is now being delivered to

compelled to get involved."

more than 2,000 young

More: http://lei.sr/Y3W4J_P Read moRe online


Sports Management is published by The Leisure Media Company Limited, Portmill House, Portmill Lane, Hitchin, Herts SG5 1DJ, UK The views expressed in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the publisher The Leisure Media Co Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recorded or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright holder, Cybertrek Ltd. ©Cybertrek Ltd 2020.




SM neWs



BuDGet 2020

Business rates cut for small leisure firms


be abolished for one year

pledge would be extended

for firms in the leisure and

to 100 per cent in order

sport sectors with a rateable

to help the businesses

value below £51,000.

weather the effects of the

sb sb



This means that thousands


coronavirus pandemic. He then added: "Gyms

of small firms – from gyms to sports clubs – will not

and sports clubs wouldn't

pay any business rates

have originally benefitted

in the coming year.

from the rate discount –

The announcement was


made by chancellor Rishi

but they could be some of the hardest-hit. "So, for this year, I

Sunak, who delivered his first budget in the House of

have decided to extend

Commons on 11 March.

the 100 per cent retail

The measure is an expansion

■■Sports clubs will be among the businesses to benefit from the cut

discount to them as well. CLAD

"That means any eligible

of a pledge, made in the 2019 Conservative manifesto, which

retail, leisure or hospitality

outlined plans to increase

business with a rateable value

business rates discounts for

below £51,000 will, over the

cinemas and restaurants (with

next financial year, pay no

so so


Sunak said the 60 per cent

Business rates in England will

a rateable value of less than

business rates whatsoever."

£51,0000) to 60 per cent.

More: http://lei.sr/6w2u9_P Read moRe online

Any eligible business with a rateable value below £51,000 will pay no business rates Rishi Sunak


leisure opportunities leisure Grassroots FunDinG opportunities

Sport England begins period of LM'significant flexibility' Sport England has initiated a threemonth period of "significant flexibility"

Previously-agreed KPIs, targets and conditions within the funding agreements signed off may no longer be relevant, appropriate or proportionate given the drastically changed circumstances Sport England


as part of plans to offer targeted support to organisations struggling with the effects of COVID-19 (coronavirus). As well as helping funded organisations,

■Sport ■ England will now focus on getting people active

the grassroots body said it would do "everything it can" to encourage people to

proportionate" given the drastically

stay active, wherever possible, as keeping

changed circumstances.

fit is now "more important than ever". In a statement, Sport England said

Instead, it is switching its focus supporting the sector and

that previously-agreed KPIs, targets

encouraging people to stay active,

and conditions within the funding

not on asking organisations to report

agreements it had signed off "may

on previously agreed conditions.

no longer be relevant, appropriate or

More: http://lei.sr/k6X5h_P Read moRe online



arena project

Manchester Arena redesign to make it 'largest in Europe' ASM Global has revealed plans to increase the capacity at its Manchester Arena venue to 24,000.

■■The work would see capacity increase to 24,000

As well as an increase to capacity, the

We are still in the process of consulting with our partners John Sharkey

initial proposals for a redesign of the arena

In a statement, John Sharkey,

– drawn up by architects HOK – include the

executive vice president European

creation of an additional concourse level

operations for ASM Global, said:

to house VIP boxes and lounges, as well

"These plans have been made public

as F&B outlets. The designs also feature

earlier than intended, as we are

a new "worker bee façade" – in honour

still in the process of consulting

of the city's symbol, the Manchester

with Manchester City Council, our

bee – and upgrades to the venue's access

neighbours and landlord on the

infrastructure, in order to improve the

design – their input and involvement

people flow between the arena and the

in this journey will be crucial.

close-by Manchester Victoria station.

More: http://lei.sr/g8H4n_P Read moRe online

major events

New dates for Tokyo 2020 and Euro 2020 The Tokyo 2020 Olympic

stakeholders, we can master

Games will now begin

this unprecedented challenge.

on 23 July, 2021 and run

"Humankind currently finds

to 8 August, after being

itself in a dark tunnel. The Tokyo

postponed for a year due to

2020 Olympic Games can be a

the coronavirus pandemic.

light at the end of this tunnel."

The Games will still be

Meanwhile, Football's

called "Tokyo 2020" despite

European governing body UEFA

taking place in 2021.

has postponed its flagship

The Paralympic Games, originally due to start on 24 August, 2020, will now take

national team competition, Euro 2020, by a year. The event was due to be

place between 24 August

played in June and July this year,

and 5 September, 2021.

involving 12 cities across Europe.

In a statement, IOC

The tournament will

president Thomas Bach said:

now take place from 11

"I am confident that, working

June to 11 July 2021.

together with the Tokyo

"Moving EURO 2020

2020 Organising Committee,

comes at a huge cost for

the Tokyo Metropolitan

us," said UEFA president

Government, the Japanese

Aleksander Čeferin.

Government and all our

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APRIL 2020 © Cybertrek 2020

■■All of the Tokyo venues were completed in time for the Games

Working together, we can master this unprecedented challenge Thomas Bach www.sportsmanagement.co.uk



SM neWs




Sector leaders welcome help for self-employed Physical activity sector

or an average trading profit

bodies have welcomed the

of less than £50,000 between

government's measures to

2016-17 and 2018-19.


help the UK's self-employed workers during the COVID-19

sb sb



(coronavirus) pandemic. Chancellor Rishi Sunak

broadly in line with company employees, who will receive

announced on 26 March that

80 per cent of their wages

those who have suffered a loss

subsidised by the government.

in income will be eligible to

In a joint statement,

a taxable grant worth 80 per

CIMSPA, ukactive and

cent of their profits – up to

Community Leisure UK said:

a cap of £2,500 per month.

"This support will be hugely


Called the Coronavirus

reassuring for the estimated

Self-employment Income

60,000 self-employed people

Support Scheme, the grant will

working in the sport and

be available for three months

physical activity sector.

in one lump-sum payment

"A recent survey showed that 95 per cent have already

the beginning of June.

experienced significant

The scheme will be open to

■■There are around 60,000 self-employed workers in the sector


and will start to be paid from

so so


The financial support for the self-employed is

financial losses as a result

those with a trading profit of

of the Covid-19 crisis."

less than £50,000 in 2018-19,

More: http://lei.sr/a7u4j_P Read moRe online

This support will be hugely reassuring for the sector's selfemployed workers Tara Dillon, CIMSPA


leisure opportunities leisure major project opportunities

Chelsea puts stadium on hold LM as LMplanning permission expires Chelsea Football Club has put its plans to build a new stadium on hold until "economic conditions improve". The English Premier League received

We will continue to consider our options for a new stadium, should economic conditions improve Chelsea FC statement

planning permission in 2017 to build a 60,000-seat venue at the site of its current Stamford Bridge stadium. to cost around £1bn to build. In a statement, Chelsea FC said it would not look to utilise the planning permission it had received. "We acknowledge that the planning


■■The club received planning permission in 2017

The new stadium was expected "We're grateful to all our fans and stakeholders for their patience and understanding in the matter. "We will continue to consider our options for a new stadium, should

permission we obtained expired on 31

economic conditions improve."

March 2020," the statement reads.

More: http://lei.sr/V2S3V_P Read moRe online


© Cybertrek 2020 APRIL 2020



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SM neWs



pitcHinG in

Sport gets stuck in with relief efforts Sports clubs and organisations

doing shopping for those

have launched initiatives

most vulnerable.


to help ease the pressures

The clubs have created

on local communities and

phone and online carelines,

the National Health Service

which will provide those who

sb sb



(NHS), created by the

might otherwise slip through

coronavirus pandemic.

the usual safety nets when

Manchester United legend

Gary Neville has opened his

months behind closed doors.

two hotels in Manchester

English Premier League

to NHS staff, to help with

club Watford has launched a

the crisis. The two hotels

campaign to help elderly and

have now been closed to the

disabled fans who are forced

public, freeing 176 beds for

to stay at home during the

NHS and other medical staff.

outbreak. The "Hornets at


A number of football

Home" initiative will connect

clubs have also joined the

fans who are prepared to help

relief effort. League Two

those who need it most.

club Stevenage and Scottish

Other clubs to have launched initiatives include

introduced a number of

Aberdeen FC, Blackburn

measures, from players

Rovers and Eastleigh FC.

phoning fans to volunteers

More: http://lei.sr/P9X4a_P Read moRe online


leisure Data opportunities

■■The Hornets at Home initiative will help the elderly and disabled


club Stenhousemuir have

so so


forced to live the next weeks or

Premier League club Watford has launched a campaign to help elderly and disabled fans who are forced to stay at home during the lockdown

leisure opportunities

Website offers 'live' feed of effects on sport LM coronavirus' LM Technology firm Purple WiFi has launched a live data website, offering a real-time, visual representation of the effects of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic

Postponements within the US sports market have led to an 87 per cent decrease in the number of visitors to stadiums, arenas and other sports venues


on leisure industry sectors globally. Utilising the company's billions

■■Professional sport has been hit hard by the outbreak

of footfall data points, Purple's data scientist team has constructed

venues across North America – costing

the live charts to help visualise the

the industry an estimated US$5bn.

impact felt in a number of sectors.

The US hospitality sector is one of

Among the key findings is that

the industries worst hit, with a 77 per

cancellations and postponements within

cent decrease in hotel guests across

the US sports market has led to an 87 per

the region, while restaurants have seen

cent decrease in the number of visitors

a significant decline in footfall too.

to stadiums, arenas and other sports

More: http://lei.sr/H9e2g_P Read moRe online


© Cybertrek 2020 APRIL 2020

reLieF eFForts

Welsh facilities being converted into hospital wards Leisure centres and stadiums in

■■The home of Scarlets will be turned into a hospital

Wales are being transformed into emergency hospital wards, as part of

Carmarthen County Council and the

measures to tackle the unprecedented

Hywel Dda University Health Board.

challenges placed on the NHS.

"Community has always been a

Selwyn Samuel Centre in Llanelli,

huge part of what we are about and

Carmarthen Leisure Centre and the

in unprecedented times like these

Parc y Scarlets stadium in Llanelli are

communities stick together," said Scarlets

among those being used to create

general manager of rugby Jon Daniels.

hundreds of additional hospital beds.

Community has always been a huge part of what we are about Jon Daniels

Parc y Scarlets is the home of Pro14

"The health service and workers are doing an incredible job in

rugby union club Scarlets, which

challenging circumstances and we

made the decision to hand over

are happy to be offering help and

its venue to help relieve the strain

support in any way we can."

on services after discussions with

More: http://lei.sr/E6m5h_P Read moRe online


Join The Movement campaign launches to get people active A new national campaign has been launched to encourage people to stay physically active at their homes during the COVID-19

■■The campaign is designed to provide inspiration to the public about how to stay fit at home

(Coronavirus) lockdown. Added to that are workouts

The Join the Movement

bring," said Sport England

campaign is designed to

from popular influencers and

provide inspiration and trusted

major fitness brands, such as

information to the public about

Les Mills on Demand, The Body

uncertainty, we’re already

Coach (Joe Wicks) and FiiT –

seeing people find fun and

many of which are offering

creative new ways to get

extended free trials to help

moving and come together,

people get active at home.

even while staying apart.

England, the campaign has its

It’s not just a means of maintaining physical health but also to support mental wellbeing

own online hub, giving access

Tim Hollingsworth

how to keep fit in and around the home during the pandemic. Funded by The National Lottery and created by Sport

CEO Tim Hollingsworth. "Despite this time of great

"It’s not just a means of

"This campaign seeks to

maintaining physical health

help bring together the best

to a range of home workout

but also to support mental

of that and encourages people

options – including existing free

wellbeing and helping people

to share what they're doing

exercise content and advice from

to deal with the anxiety that

using #StayInWorkOut."

organisations such as the NHS.

this period will inevitably

More: http://lei.sr/e5C8R_P Read moRe online





CHANGING TIMES The definition of "normal" will probably never be the same again


hings have been happening

a little late from the government.

so fast over the past few

All parts of our sector must now

weeks that what seemed

show leadership in staying inside.

important at the beginning

I know that for many who love sport,

of March no longer seems to matter.

exercise and the outdoors, there is a

For me, the beginning of the year

temptation to "tough out" the virus. But

was spent helping organisations

this really isn't the time to demonstrate

develop post-2020 strategies. None

some of the worst traits of our behaviours.

of our forward-thinking, however,

Now is the time for responsible behaviour.

included measures to deal with what

Bodies such as Sport England, ukactive

is currently happening. The challenges

and the SRA have been working hard to

we identified now seem very minor!

get out the right guidance and messaging - but even this has had to change rapidly.

LEADERSHIP ISSUE At least we now have some clearer guidance from the UK Government. Personally, I feel that the firm guidance to stay indoors could and should have been done earlier. The next few weeks will see whether the lockdown came

By the time the government finally

If there's a positive to take from this terrible situation, it's the embedding of physical activity at the heart of the government response Andy Reed is founder of Sports Think Tank

banned attending gyms, I'd already taken the personal decision to stop going – and advised anybody who asked to do the same – as the social distancing rules just weren't being observed. I've had to come down hard on some friends who have suggested replacing the weekend game of rugby with a game of #Touch instead. While some of us, trying to get ahead of this pandemic curve, may have been labelled "snowflakes" a couple of weeks ago, I'm hoping the severity is now starting to hit home and people will stay at home. Having said that, I, among many others, applauded the National Trust for opening its grounds for people. A combination of nice weather, large numbers and people not observing proper social distancing, however, quickly led to their closure and those of other major parks. Sadly, it was probably the right thing to do. As long as we all stick with the latest guidance of one daily exercise outside

■ Sport England and ukactive

and observe social distancing, we can

have issued guidance

keep ourselves physically active. From

for facilities and clubs

what I could see on my village run, people were observing this latest advice.




pandemic help highlight the importance of staying active?

Perhaps this will finally help the importance of physical activity to be recognised. We now need to make sure the recognition isn’t lost MIXED MESSAGES

thing to do. Nothing is more important

government response. The speed of

It has felt the government has always

than the collective effort to save thousands

innovation to enable 'virtual' classes to

been slightly behind the curve in

of lives – and easing the massive pressure

be delivered has also been impressive.

ramping up its decision making and

that is being put on the NHS. Sporting

It has also enhanced the case we've

therefore the messaging has been very

and financial pressures should not lead to

been making about the need for public

confused. Hopefully, now it is clear for

the pre-emptive opening of any leagues,

green space in all communities for

the coming month at least and when this

clubs or gyms that put others' lives at risk.

our physical and mental wellbeing.

lockdown is reviewed for effectiveness we all persevere if it requires longer.

For example, I've been speaking to

Perhaps this crisis has finally helped

athletes about the postponement of

the importance of physical activity

the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic

to be recognised. We now need to

construction sites for example. Hopefully,

Games. They agree it was the right thing

make sure the recognition isn’t lost.

by the time you read this, even this will

to do. Their personal stories pale into

The fact that Joe Wicks racked up 16.3

have been sorted. One of my industry roles

insignificance in the face of curbing

million views in the first week of his PE

is being the chair of the Sports and Play

the pandemic – even if it means that

sessions online – with many of those

Construction Association (SAPCA) and I

those due to retire in 2020 may now

doing exercise at home for the first

can say that the association's members

not get their swan song in 2021.

time in their lives – needs celebrating.

In one area it has not been –

have been given conflicting advice.

I understand the financial impact too – as

These are the most extraordinary times

it is also affecting our own work. Income is

of our lives. Even before the pandemic,


plummeting and we're cutting to the core.

my definition of "normal times" had

This is going to be tough economically on

Somehow, we need to all look after each

changed beyond all recognition. What is

the entire physical activity sector - from

other as soon as things are opened up again!

certain, however, is that the post-Covid-19 world will look completely different.

self-employed personal trainers to gym chains all the way through to the grassroots


Over the next few weeks, we will see

clubs and professional sports. While sport

If there is anything positive to take

both the worst and the best of human

is an important component in the fabric of

from this terrible situation, it has been

nature. Let’s hope that it is the kindness

our lives, each decision to end a league or

the embedding of the message to stay

and heroism that wins and society ends

postpone a competition has been the right

physically active at the heart of the

up stronger at the end of this all. ●





■ Could the Covid-19

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Suppliers tell Sports Management about their latest product, design and technology launches

■ The new kit will be more sustainable and will be made from a blend of bamboo, charcoal and polyester

Warwickshire CCC and PlayerLayer partnership shows how sport can drive change, says Roderick Bradley


arwickshire County Cricket

in sport, the new material

Club has announced a

and its capabilities was

and marketing director

new three-year official

first showcased last year

at PlayerLater said: "The

kit supplier partnership with

with PlayerLayer's partner-

Warwickshire CCC Bamboo

PlayerLayer, which will see

ship with League Two Forest

project is extremely important

the development of a more

Green Rovers Football Club,

to us. We believe that sport

sustainable kit, made with

which is recognised by both

can drive change and this is a

materials derived from bamboo.

FIFA and UEFA as the world's

perfect example. Warwickshire

greenest football club.

CCC has a global reach and will

Billed as a first for professional cricket, the ■ Roderick Bradley, PlayerLayer

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"We have talked about our

show how cricket can send a

material in the shirts and

ambitions to be the most

sweaters worn by Warwickshire

sustainable cricket club and

in the Royal London Cup and

venue in the country and work-

kit with new sponsors is

by Birmingham Bears in the

ing with PlayerLayer to create

set to be unveiled later this

Vitality Blast will be made

our new bamboo kits takes

year, closer to the 2020

from a blend of bamboo,

us a step closer to this goal,"

season, if it goes ahead.

charcoal and polyester.

said Ben Seifas, commercial

Designed to significantly reduce the use of plastic


Roderick Bradley, co-founder

partnerships manager at Warwickshire CCC.

message far beyond sport.” The design for the full




SUPPLIER NEWS 1885 Lounge celebrates Southampton FC's history, says Claire Wilson


SS Architects has partnered with Rainbow Design, a London-based furniture

supplier, to create the 1885 Lounge at St Mary's Stadium,

■ Rainbow worked closely with KSS on the project

home to Southampton FC. The pitch-side lounge,

■ Claire Wilson, KSS Architects

READ MORE http://lei.sr/H5c1P ONLINE

"The concept of this pitch lounge was to celebrate the first

furniture for the lounge, and

relaxed experience for guests

two decades of the club since

worked closely with KSS to

and features a lounge and bar

it was founded in 1885, a very

ensure all the products not

area with full height glazing,

specific time frame, which gave

only matched the design vision

so guests don't miss any of

us some fantastical historical

for the space, but would stand

the on-pitch action. The design

moments to look at. There was

up to the rigours of a match

includes historical memorabilia,

so much depth that we could

day hospitality experience.

celebrating the club's

use made it very interesting

rich heritage, as well as

overall," said Claire Wilson,

Southampton's naval history.

senior interior designer at KSS.

Satisfi Labs' COVID-19 Assistant streamlines emergency communications for sports venues


Rainbow supplied all of the

designed by KSS, offers a


READ MORE http://lei.sr/g6S0S ONLINE

atisfi Labs,

queries relating to the

to streamline communication

a knowledge management

coronavirus in real-time via

that enables sports venues

platform powered by

their websites.

to provide consumers with

Artificial Intelligence (AI),

It was developed after Satisfi

custom responses on their

has announced the launch

Labs found that customer

websites. Users can adjust

of its COVID-19 Assistant,

queries, received by Satisfi

their answers in real-time

a free virtual assistant that

Labs' Answer Engines, relating

as the situation changes.

enables clients in the live

to the coronavirus increased

entertainment and sports

by 2,000 per cent between

times, we know it’s important

industries to answer customer

the first and second week of

for our partners to be able to

"During these uncertain

address pressing questions ■ Don White, Satisfi Labs

from their customers about how the coronavirus is affecting their

March. The company found

favourite events, shows and

that 98 per cent of queries fell

games," said Don White, CEO

into one of four categories:

and co-founder of Satisfi Labs.

refund policies, venue facility change, event cancellations,

create a process to help

and event rescheduling.

clients address these types

Satisfi Labs used this information to create the COVID-19 Assistant, which ■ The new service offers venues help with coronavirus enquiries



"We’re aiming to

features a guided-flow solution

of emergency questions rapidly."




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BUILDING ISSUES How are the Covid-19 measures affecting sports construction projects?


he UK government's measures to tackle the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic are having a huge impact on the way UK businesses operate. Only

key workers – and those who can't do their jobs remotely – are allowed to travel to work. This means that a large number of those working across the sports and play construction industry find themselves discovering the wonders of homeworking.

Are sports construction projects still allowed? So far, the UK government’s advice is that external construction projects are allowed to continue, but only if it is possible for contractors to comply with the official guidance on social distancing and the procedures for the safe operation of sites. This is a very considerable challenge, both for the specialist work that takes place on-site to build and maintain sports and play facilities, as well as ■ Construction projects are

for the industry’s workforce, which

still allowed – as long as social

travels to and from the various projects

distancing is adhered to

on which they are employed. Adding to the on-site challenges, the industry is also experiencing increasing difficulties in obtaining the materials

Contractors remain open for business and many continue to run full operations working from home 20


and products which are essential to delivering sport and play projects. Those looking to build, redevelop or maintain their sports facilities should be aware that, as a result, many projects are © CYBERTREK 2020 APRIL 2020

currently being suspended. SAPCA's

■ Operators who have

advice is that those, whose projects

closed their facilities

may be affected, should discuss their

could use the lockdown

individual situation with the contractor

to plan future projects

(or contractors) that they have engaged. But while the UK lockdown is resulting in some projects being put on hold, contractors remain open for business

on temporary suspension of sites.

and many of them continue to run full

The advice looks to ensure that all

operations working from home. It is a

closures can be achieved as safely

great opportunity, therefore, to discuss

as possible, avoiding potential

and develop future facility projects.

issues while the site is not active.

Using this “down time” for project

The guidance is particularly pertinent

now – and as long as social distancing

planning – and getting projects ready for

to sports and play facility operators,

regulations are adhered to and due

the tender process – could give many a

as owners of sites have a legal duty

regard for health and safety is followed

headstart once the lockdown ends. This

of care to any visitors to their sites

– essential ground maintenance work

is because there is likely to be a clamour

– even in the event of trespass.

can still be carried out. This includes

to continue projects (and start new ones), once things begin to return to normal. During the coronavirus emergency,

The document includes advice on

maintenance work at golf clubs,

how to come up with a structured

football clubs, cricket clubs, tennis

plan to carry out a shut down – from

clubs and other similar facilities.

SAPCA will continue to be in close contact

analysing the emerging risks to the site

with sports councils, sports governing

and prioritising its critical functions to

in the current climate and guidance

bodies, funding agencies and other

site safety and security. There is also

is constantly being amended. SAPCA

key stakeholders to work together to

guidance on dealing with any special

will look to keep its members and its

produce and share helpful information

considerations the site might require,

partners up-to-date with news from the

and guidance for all those involved in

relating to environmental issues.

government departments, as well as

developing and managing sports and

The main message is clear – even

Things are, however, moving quickly

its various stakeholder organisations.

play facilities. For this, please visit the

if a shut down needs to happen

Guides section of the SAPCA website:

quickly due to Covid-19 issues, there

information, there is a useful, dedicated


should be a clear, structured plan for

Covid-19 section on the Sport England

it. You can access the full document

website, which provides updates on the

here: https://bit.ly/2R6GpQf

situation. Information about how Sport

Shutting down safely

For those looking for the latest

England is working to support the sector

For those that are facing the prospect of closing down a project site, the

What about maintenance?

can also be accessed through the website:

Construction Leadership Council

As with construction work, the message


(CLC) has developed a useful guide

from the government is that, for

coronavirus-information-sector). ●









sb sb





Huw Edwards, CEO, ukactive


so so


Figures show that public leisure alone is worth £3.3bn annually, having a huge impact on wellbeing (£2.4bn) and health (£715m)


leisure opportunities

Sports and physical activity industry bodies call for special measures to keep leisure facilities afloat


leisure opportunities


eading trade bodies representing the physical activity sector have called on the government to introduce "urgent additional measures" in

order to keep leisure facilities afloat during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. The heads of ukactive, the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA), and Community Leisure UK have written to chancellor Rishi Sunak, offering to work with the Treasury on the priorities for financial support designed to protect thousands of jobs, businesses and charities. Gyms, leisure centres and other activity facilities were closed as part of a UK-wide lockdown on 23 March. PM Boris Johnson did, however, say people could continue

■■All grassroots sport has ground to a halt due to the unprecedented lockdown measures



to go out to exercise once a day – as long as they adhere to physical distancing © Cybertrek 2020 APRIL 2020

■■The UK's leisure centres, swimming pools and gyms were ordered to close on 23 March

We simply cannot allow the physical activity facilities at the heart of our communities to disappear measures in order to remain safe, in line with guidance from Public Health England. In the letter to the Chancellor, the sector leaders highlighted the unique position and value of the physical activity sector – and its ability to contribute to the nation’s health. "We want to work with you and your team to ensure the physical activity sector has the tools it needs to survive in this rapidly changing climate," the letter reads. "Our gyms, leisure facilities and sports providers are on the frontline of the prevention agenda,

■■Professional sports clubs are counting the cost of postponed and cancelled games

contributing hugely to both our (£715m), but findings also demonstrate

and providing deeper connections

"We cannot allow the facilities at the

benefits for wider social issues such

within communities. Throughout the

heart of our communities to disappear.

as education and crime, shaping the

coronavirus crisis our members have

future of children and young people,

been working tirelessly to support

is worth £3.3bn annually, having a huge

ensuring a productive workforce, tackling

the public to maintain active lives,

impact on wellbeing (£2.4bn) and health

loneliness, supporting an ageing society,

supporting the nation through increasing

national wellbeing and productivity.

"Figures show that public leisure alone

APRIL 2020 © Cybertrek 2020








sb sb



HCM n There are concerns over the future of the "vital infrastructure" provided by grassroots sport facilities

so so




pressures on both our physical and mental

n Making gym memberships tax

health, as our routines are disrupted.

deductible for a stipulated period.

"the significance of maintaining our physical and mental health cannot be

this would make it easier to regain memberships after the unsettled period,

underplayed in these circumstances, and


as well as possibly allowing facilities

leisuresector finds itself the physical activity opportunities leisure uniquely placed to offer support to people. opportunities

to hold on to current members.

"If physical activity organisations difficult for this vital infrastructure to be

In addition to this, the sector is looking for clarification on the processes for the following:

restored once the crisis is over – and a

n Clarity on the terms of loan provision,

lengthy restoration process would have

as six months is not feasible for the

dire consequences for our society.”

repayment of interest, given the low

are not supported to survive, it will be


margins within the sector. It requests that

The measures proposed by the sector bodies are:

the window is extended to 12 months.

n Comprehensive salary payment

Insurance and the grounds for pay-

support, as instituted in other

outs, in addition to confirming the

european countries.

parameters in the new business

n rental/management fees

interruption loan scheme.

reduction support, to reduce/

n Clarity on non-payment of

cease rental payments.

VAt, National Insurance, pension

n For public sector operators,

and payroll contributions during

clarification on the responsibility of

the period of disruption.

local authority clients and the non-

n Clarity on tailored financial

n The leaders say financial help

payment of management fees as well

support for self-employed physical

would allow companies bounce back

as additional support with cash flow.

activity professionals. l

quicker following the lockdown



n Clarity on business Interruption

© Cybertrek 2020 APRIL 2020

BUYERS’ GUIDE The sports and play Construction association, sapCa, is the recognised trade organisation for the sports and play facility construction industry in the uK. saPca fosters excellence, professionalism and continuous improvement throughout the industry, in order to provide the high quality facilities necessary for the success of British sport. saPca represents a

wide range of specialist constructors of natural and synthetic sports surfaces, including both outdoor and indoor facilities, from tennis courts and sports pitches to playgrounds and sports halls. saPca also represents manufacturers and suppliers of related products, and independent consultants that ofer professional advice on the development of projects.


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The voice for community leisure trusts across the UK The community leisure trust collective has launched a new brand that seeks to support and develop our public leisure and culture services. Community Leisure UK – formerly Sporta - is the association that specialises in charitable leisure trusts across the UK, enabling networking and knowledge sharing with peers and external stakeholders. Collectively, member community leisure trusts manage a combined budget of more than £1.6bn, employ over 67,000 people, and receive 233million visits per year. Charitable trusts are key community anchors who reinvest every penny into developing services focused on their local people across the life course. Trusts are working with more and more partners to develop supported routes to mental and physical health improvement, while reshaping services to meet local strategic objectives. The ultimate aim of community leisure trusts is to engage all people across the community, whether that is having a health check, a coffee in a safe and warm space, going for a swim, taking a walk in the park, borrowing a library book or becoming a member of a gym.

Community Leisure UK are keen to help organisations who would like to know more about the public leisure landscape and / or the charitable trust model. Please do get in touch at:

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Thank you for reading.

Profile for Leisure Media

Sports Management April 2020