23 October, 2020

British Wheelchair Basketball welcomes £100 million fund to support local authority leisure centres

British Wheelchair Basketball welcomes the government’s announcement of a £100 million fund to support local authority leisure centres.

Oliver Dowden, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, yesterday announced that local authorities will be able to bid for money from the £100 million fund and this funding will be allocated to leisure centres most in need. The £100 million is part of a £1 billion fund to support local authorities through the current challenges.

Lisa Pearce, British Wheelchair Basketball’s Chief Executive, said:

“Yesterday’s announcement is a step in the right direction to ensure sport at community level is able to continue. It is absolutely essential that leisure facilities are protected – they are a vital resource in communities and so important for the health of the nation.

“A third of leisure centres have still not reopened due to the pandemic. Without indoor facilities, our 100 + clubs, who provide such an important service for the 17,000 people who play Wheelchair basketball in the UK, would be unable to operate.”

Sport England’s most recent Active Lives survey painted a bleak picture, with the number of people meeting the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity a week falling by 7.1%, just over three million people, in the first two months of the coronavirus pandemic.

Pearce added:

“The Active Lives survey shows the impact that the pandemic has had on sport in England. The health and wellbeing of the nation has never been more important, and we must do all we can to ensure facilities are open and accessible for all.

“I think yesterday’s announcement is a positive step but more needs to be done to allow sport to survive and thrive. We look forward to seeing further details of the scheme in the coming weeks.”

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