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Respond: an agile and robust response to Covid-19

This page is all about one of our four goals for 2021-22 - keep reading, or go to our main year 1 implementation plan page.

Year 1 implementation plan

During Uniting the Movement’s first year, we’ll be responding to the significant challenges the Covid-19 pandemic continues to pose for sport and physical activity.

We’ll work to understand the challenges faced by people to be active or return to being active – including factors such as confidence – using insight and learning, and we’ll respond with resources to understand, encourage and support them to be active.

The right mix of guidance and support will also continue to be given at the right time to the organisations that provide sport and physical activity opportunities.

We’ll make investment available to help sport and activity providers stay in business and deliver their activities when restrictions allow in 2021-22.

What we'll do

Support the return to play

Use insight and learning to understand the challenges faced by people to be active or return to being active, and provide resources that will support them to be active.

How we'll do it

We’ll continue to work with the government to represent the sector and share guidance with partners around the Covid-19 restrictions and reopening. We’ll share our latest insight into consumer behaviours and attitudes with partners so they know how to appeal to audiences and put on a good experience.

The Return to Play Fund will stay open to support clubs and community groups respond to the challenges of returning during Covid-19. The Join the Movement, This Girl Can and We Are Undefeatable campaigns will continue to support targeted audiences to stay active during the pandemic, while we’ll continue to use our marketing and behavioural insight expertise to support other audiences who we know are struggling, building on existing partnerships and establishing more.

We’ll launch a free digital marketing training programme this summer in collaboration with the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA) to help organisations of all shapes and sizes connect with more people online, in order to boost participation, drive income, and re-engage memberships using digital tools.

We’re helping schools restart sports activity during the summer term, working with sector partners including the Youth Sport Trust, ukactive, the Association for Physical Education, national governing bodies (NGBs), Active Partnerships and the School Games Organisers, to:

  • Launch the Active Recovery Hub with free sport and activity resources for schools
  • Launch Studio You, a free digital library of non-traditional PE lessons to help teenage girls engage with activity at school
  • Continue our successful secondary teacher training programme, delivered in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust, Association for Physical Education and Activity Alliance
  • Reactivate club-based organised sport.

We’ll also support those working during the school summer holidays to keep children and young people active, as it’s a crucial time when activity levels can decrease for some.

Build on the Tackling Inequalities Fund

Continue the work of the Tackling Inequalities Fund, which has been successful in reaching underrepresented groups, including disabled people and people with a long-term health condition, people in a lower socio-economic group, women, and people from Asian and Black backgrounds.

How we'll do it

We’ll continue to manage and build on the existing £20 million investment that’s supporting over 70 national partners and Active Partnerships to reach deeper into their communities to where our support can have the greatest impact.

Listening carefully to the experiences and needs of our partners will be important, and we’ll respond as necessary as the picture changes because of Covid-19. We’ll learn from the money spent and work done already to support wider change within our organisation in how we make future investment even more effective.

Support organisations through the Sport Survival packages

Continue to support a wide range of sports clubs, leagues and venues across the country that are dependent on income from spectators. This is to limit the impact immediate pressures from loss of income may have on sports, from grassroots all the way to elite.

How we'll do it

We’ll continue supporting the government in the administration and rollout of the £300m Sport Winter Survival grant and loan package, and the £300m Extended Sport Survival grant and loan package, for which the first awards will be made this May.

Invest in a retrain to retain support package

Support the return of coaches and exercise professionals who’ve had to find work outside the sector, and support providers working in areas of economic deprivation or supporting under-represented groups to meet the costs of operating.

How we'll do it

We’ll make an investment of £5m to create a workforce retention and support package to be administered by the CIMSPA and a consortium of trusted workforce development strategic partners, including UK Coaching and EMD UK.

The aim is:

  • To support 5,000 self-employed/ micro businesses back to trading
  • To support 25,000 people back into work in our sector by providing access to training
  • To support more than 500 employers to reopen by reducing the cost of operation and addressing skills shortages by funding the costs of essential training.

Local leisure recovery

Rollout of the National Leisure Recovery Fund, plus support for local authority leisure services in addressing the pressures on existing services and how they need to evolve for the future.

We know public leisure provision is particularly crucial in providing opportunities for activity not supplied by the private sector, and for our more deprived communities, where there’s little or no private sector provision or where it can’t easily be accessed by the local population. Supporting local leisure is therefore essential for people who would otherwise not have access to opportunities, helping to tackle inequalities.

How we'll do it

Building on the rollout of the £100m National Leisure Recovery Fund, which helped more than 1,000 community leisure centres reopen in April 2021, including more than 700 swimming pools, we’ll continue to support capacity and capability in the public sector and provide and stimulate investment into local leisure and community facilities and the active environment.

We’ll look to ensure all the teams across our organisation that engage with the public sector work together to encourage local authorities and the local leisure sector to prioritise active wellbeing as part of local Covid-19 recovery efforts.

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