Skip to content


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.

We've opened three funds focusing on a safe return to play and narrowing the inequalities gap in sport and physical activity. Find out more and see if the funds can help you.

Return to Play Fund

We know this is a hugely challenging time for the sport and physical activity sector as the country deals with the outbreak of coronavirus (Covid-19).

Our two immediate priorities over this period are:

  • Supporting the sector: action to ensure it comes through this period in as strong a position as possible
  • Keeping the nation moving: doing everything we can to encourage people to stay active, wherever possible, which we think is now more important than ever.

Click on the links further down this page to find out more about this, including our funding support and Join the Movement campaign.

Latest government guidance

The government's roadmap for the easing of lockdown restrictions is made up of four steps, with Step 2 – which began on 12 April – now in force.

This means that all outdoor sports facilities, such as tennis and basketball courts, sports pitches, outdoor skateparks and outdoor swimming pools can reopen.

Outdoor gatherings of six people, under the 'rule of six', or two households, can take place. Organised outdoor sport and physical activity for adults and children can return and are exempt from legal gathering limits.

Informal sport and physical activity isn’t covered by any exemptions, and will have to follow the legal gathering limits for outdoors.

In addition to this, indoor facilities such as leisure centres, gyms and indoor swimming pools can now open for adult individual/household only activities – no group sessions are allowed.

Full information on the current rules, a definition of organised outdoor sport and physical activity, and what the next steps in the government's roadmap mean for sport and activity, are on our frequently asked questions page below.

You can also find out about the exemptions for disabled people, education, coach education and elite sport.

Your questions answered

Read the government's guidance

Return to play

We've compiled advice and guidance on how the sport and physical activity sector can prepare for a safe return to play.

Our support includes the current government guidance, research on what will help people return to play, plus advice for clubs, the professional workforce, volunteers and more.

See the guidance

A man holding a football, with a graphic overlay on top
A mum and daughter getting active together.

Join the Movement

Our Join the Movement campaign is all about inspiring people to keep active during this time, pulling together trusted resources to help people do just that.

It's encouraging people to share their own ideas on social media.

Join the Movement

Activity levels research

We know how and if people are getting active during this time will of course change.

We're working with Savanta ComRes to understand the true picture throughout this period, and how people view getting and keeping active.

Read the latest findings

An overhead shot of a person running on a beach.
A man running in a park, with a graphical overlay of a pound sign on top

Funding, flexibility and innovation

A £270 million package of government and National Lottery funding has been developed to help the sector through this crisis, including a Return to Play Fund.

We've also introduced flexibility in managing our existing support to individuals and organisations, and are supporting innovators working on solutions to inequalities in activity levels worsened by coronavirus.

Find out more

What happens next?

We've worked with the government to help explain its lockdown restrictions, and how they impact sport and physical activity.

You can also find out how to contribute to the consultation about how we implement our new strategy, Uniting the Movement.

Learn more about what's next

A squash racket on the floor of a squash court, with a graphical overlay of a question mark, on top.

Sign up to our newsletter

You can find out exactly how we'll look after your personal data, but rest assured we’ll only use it to make sure you receive our newsletter, to understand how you interact with our newsletter, and to provide administrative information about our newsletter.