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Our statement: COVID-19 Second Lockdown and Physical Activity

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Our statement: COVID-19 Second Lockdown and Physical Activity

On Saturday 31 October, the Prime Minister announced that a new set of national restrictions will come into force as of Thursday 5 November. Whilst this is an incredibly difficult period for us all, we have superb local partnerships in place across the Black Country which will stand the region in good stead and ensure we can recover quickly. We believe that the power of sport and physical activity to support people's physical and mental health has never been more important than it is right now.

The government is placing an emphasis on wellbeing and there is still the prioritisation of being active either at home or safely outside. The outdoor element was arguably easier to achieve during the 1st lockdown given the good weather, and we now have the seasonal change in activity levels to contend with this time round. Every part of England is now under the same coronavirus restrictions which will apply until Wednesday 2 December.

The new restrictions have many implications for sport and physical activity, but the main things to know are:

People can go outdoors to be active as many times as they like, either on their own, with their household or support bubble, or on their own with one person from another household while keeping two metres apart.

Children who are under school age if they're with a parent/carer, or people dependent on round-the-clock care, do not count towards the limit of two people from different households meeting outside.

Outdoor public places, such as parks, the countryside, beaches and public gardens can stay open, as can playgrounds.

All organised community outdoor sport is not permitted, meaning facilities including outdoor basketball and tennis courts, outdoor gyms and pools, golf courses, archery, driving and shooting ranges must also close.

Indoor sport and leisure facilities, such as leisure centres and gyms, swimming pools, tennis and basketball courts, fitness and dance studios, climbing walls, archery and shooting ranges, must close.

People cannot meet indoors with family or friends unless they’re part of their household or support bubble.

All children’s grassroots sport outside of school - both indoor and outdoor - must stop, but schools and nurseries will stay open and activity will be permitted within these settings during school hours, with playgrounds staying open.

External coaches and providers will still be able to visit schools to deliver sport sessions for children within school hours.

The full Government guidelines can be viewed here.

A link to Sport England’s guidance can be viewed here.

A link to afPE’s FAQ's for schools can be viewed here.

What Active Black Country will be doing ?

We have 2 objectives during the 2nd National Lockdown and will only seek to undertake new work where clear added value can be provided:

  1. Help keep people active
  2. Support sector partners and stakeholders

As a team we will be focusing on the following 3 key areas, to keep people active, during this period:

  • Being active at home/indoor
  • Outdoor Activity
  • Education partners

We will have a strong theme on families during this time and will be running a series of competitions that you can get involved with whilst doing your activity.

We will continue to update our website over the coming weeks, during lockdown, with different activity suggestions, online resources and workshops and funding opportunities.

This includes the continued promotion of Black Country Rainbow Hour and support for schools and their pupils.

We will be using the hashtag #EverydayYourWay so please follow us on social media and share to keep up to date with our support.

There is also a lot of support from Sport England which we will continue to share and promote:

  • Activity Toolkit – Sport England’s toolkit of resources to help partners support people to be physically active as the nights get longer and the weather gets worse.
  • This Girl Can - Encouraging women and girls of all shapes, sizes, abilities and backgrounds to get active.
  • We Are Undefeatable - a national campaign to support the 15 million people who live with one or more long-term health conditions in England.
  • Join the Movement – Sport England’s campaign which offers simple, fun and free ways to get active, both indoors and outdoors, that people can enjoy safely.
  • Sport England funding opportunities - for people and organisations who are struggling financially because of the pandemic as well as resources to support work that is helping people to stay active.
  • Club Matters – Sport England’s hub for sports clubs and physical activity groups which has a suite of toolkits, guides and case studies.

We will also be helping partners and stakeholders maintain and sustain their services and offer, we will be in touch early next week with more information.

Sport England have also reopened their £16.5 million Return to Play: Small Grants fund, which was paused for a few days this week to refocus on helping groups, clubs and people who deliver sport and physical activity through the additional challenges that this period of national restrictions will bring.

They have made important changes to the criteria to ensure they’re giving the right help at this time. We will be assigning a team member to provide one to one support for clubs and organisations to access, more details will follow next week.

Their two other coronavirus-related funds, Return to Play: Community Asset Fund and Return to Play: Active Together, are also open for applications.

If you are a Black Country community club, organisation or local partner, please be assured that Active Black Country are willing and able to assist in any way we can. Whether it is helping with ideas on how to be active in the home, signposting to appropriate funding packages or something much more bespoke, please get in touch and start a dialogue with us so we can make best use of the resources that we have.

This is no ordinary time, and we're all facing huge challenges. We're committed to being as supportive as we can to the sport and physical activity sector, and doing all we can to help people stay active in this new normal.

If you would like to contact myself or a member of the team, please visit our website for all contact details.

Ian Carey
Director,  Active Black Country

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