CIMSPA urges Prime Minister to support the sector

Marc  Woods 1280 x720

Dear Prime Minister,

I write to you with an urgent request to provide financial support to the grassroots sport, physical activity and leisure sector.

Both you and the Chief Medical Officer have consistently said that staying physically active and healthy is one of the best ways to combat the risk of Covid-19. Indeed, at the height of lockdown, exercise was considered as an essential daily activity.

However, the sector that underpins and enables much of the nation’s physical activity is in trouble. Further to this sectors’ letter to you dated the 21st September (sent by Baroness Tanni Grey-Thomson, Chair of ukactive and signed by more than 100 leaders from sport and physical activity) it is estimated that 48% of public leisure facilities could close and up to 300,000 of the 579,000 people employed in the sector could lose their jobs by Christmas, as a result of ongoing Covid-19 restrictions. Many facility operators are ineligible to apply for a business interruption loan and are bound by charity law to hold limited reserves. What reserves were available have now been all but depleted.

These are facilities and qualified professionals who play a vital role in supporting the health and wellbeing of communities up and down the country. While a very small number of our members have found innovative online solutions, this has not, in reality, replaced the in-person services and facilities needed by the vast majority of people.

This ask goes well beyond sport, as important as that is. Our sector helps people to stay fit and healthy, both physically and mentally. We bring communities together and provide opportunities for children to be active. We also play a vital role in the rehabilitation of stroke, cancer and heart patients, work with prediabetic patients, and much more.

The Minister for Sport has recently said, “Leisure centres play a pivotal role in the mental and physical health of local communities.”

Prior to the pandemic, community physical activity generated £85.5bn of value annually for the country and the sector is estimated to save the NHS £9.5bn per year, made up of:
  • £5.2bn in healthcare savings
  • £1.7bn in social care savings
  • £3.6bn savings by prevention of 900,000 diabetes cases
  • £3.5bn saved through avoided dementia cases and related care
  • £450m saved by preventing 30m GP visits
The sector needs around £800m to support it through the next six months, but we are not asking for a bailout. Supporting this sector would be an investment in our nation’s health, representing annual average savings to the NHS of £9.5B and an investment in an industry that was thriving before the pandemic, and will trade out of the crisis and into recovery quicker than most sectors when life returns to normal and restrictions are lifted.

The Treasury has had the research and data behind our sector’s request for support for over a month, but the time to act is now. If we let these facilities and jobs disappear, the impact will be felt for many years to come.

Yours sincerely,

Marc Woods
Chair, The Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity


The Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity

CIMSPA’s work enhances the career opportunities and professional development of the workforce operating in sport, fitness, exercise, leisure, gyms, coaching, outdoor exercise, health and wellbeing. We achieve this through sector-wide engagement, membership, networking, events, directories and professional standards.

Incorporated by Royal Charter Charity registration number 1144545

This site uses cookies to store information on your computer. See our Cookie Policy for further details on how to block cookies.
I am happy with this


What is a Cookie

A cookie, also known as an HTTP cookie, web cookie, or browser cookie, is a piece of data stored by a website within a browser, and then subsequently sent back to the same website by the browser. Cookies were designed to be a reliable mechanism for websites to remember things that a browser had done there in the past, which can include having clicked particular buttons, logging in, or having read pages on that site months or years ago.

NOTE : It does not know who you are or look at any of your personal files on your computer.

Why we use them

When we provide services, we want to make them easy, useful and reliable. Where services are delivered on the internet, this sometimes involves placing small amounts of information on your device, for example, your computer or mobile phone. These include small files known as cookies. They cannot be used to identify you personally.

These pieces of information are used to improve services for you through, for example:

  • recognising that you may already have given a username and password so you don’t need to do it for every web page requested
  • measuring how many people are using services, so they can be made easier to use and there’s enough capacity to ensure they are fast
  • analysing anonymised data to help us understand how people interact with our website so we can make them better

You can manage these small files and learn more about them from the article, Internet Browser cookies- what they are and how to manage them

Learn how to remove cookies set on your device

There are two types of cookie you may encounter when using our site :

First party cookies

These are our own cookies, controlled by us and used to provide information about usage of our site.

We use cookies in several places – we’ve listed each of them below with more details about why we use them and how long they will last.

Third party cookies

These are cookies found in other companies’ internet tools which we are using to enhance our site, for example Facebook or Twitter have their own cookies, which are controlled by them.

We do not control the dissemination of these cookies. You should check the third party websites for more information about these.

Log files

Log files allow us to record visitors’ use of the site. The CMS puts together log file information from all our visitors, which we use to make improvements to the layout of the site and to the information in it, based on the way that visitors move around it. Log files do not contain any personal information about you. If you receive the HTML-formatted version of a newsletter, your opening of the newsletter email is notified to us and saved. Your clicks on links in the newsletter are also saved. These and the open statistics are used in aggregate form to give us an indication of the popularity of the content and to help us make decisions about future content and formatting.