Sport England provides Covid-19 support to BSF

Mon 29 Jun 2020

The British Softball Federation has been awarded £20,000 from Sport England’s Sector Partner Fund to help the nation remain active during and after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Designed to support key partners in immediate financial need, the £5 million Sector Partner Fund is part of Sport England’s £210 million support package designed to help the sport and physical activity sector through the coronavirus crisis.


Thanks

BSF President Jenny Fromer said, “For organisations like the BSF, Sport England’s recognition of the impact of Covid-19 on membership income, and their support in providing Sector Partner Funding, has been critical.  Prior to the fund being announced we were at risk of becoming unfinancial because we could not, in good conscience, collect money from members and yet we still needed to meet ongoing non-discretionary expenses.  The fact that Sport England moved so quickly to provide support, and offered a simplified process for application, meant that we very quickly had the certainty we needed that the BSF could survive the current year.

“The BSF took the decision to keep our application to Sport England to the minimum amount needed to keep our head above water,” Jenny added, “recognising that other organisations might need substantially more support.  We have used the grant awarded to us to meet our on-going obligations as an employer and for items such as accountancy support, website hosting, insurance, SLA support from BSUK and administrative support.  As a result we have been able to keep our focus on planning for a return to play.

“We are extremely grateful for the funding we have received and for the support from BSUK in navigating the application process.  We felt it was extremely important to not have to turn to our membership at a time when so many will have suffered their own financial difficulties and when there was no prospect of play."


Support

Sport England’s wider support for the sporting sector was initially launched as a £195 million package on 31 March, and was increased to £210 million in early May.  This followed unprecedented demand for their Community Emergency Fund, which delivered immediate funding to thousands of grassroots sports clubs and community organisations that were most in need.

Sport England has been widely commended by the sport sector for the speed and scale of its response, with the Sector Partner Fund specifically designed to support membership  organisations that play a key role in supporting clubs and other bodies across the country.

Sport England’s aim is to help everyone in England, regardless of age, background, or level of ability, to feel able to engage in sport and physical activity, and that’s why it was keen to enable the British Softball Federation and many similar organisations to play a part in supporting the public to be more active during this unprecedented time.

With habits disrupted, familiar inequalities have been exacerbated even further, with some demographic groups disproportionately affected by the pandemic.  Women, people from lower socio-economic groups, BAME communities, and those with a long-term health condition or disability are among those finding it harder to participate in sport or physical activity.  But there has never been a more important time to help the population to be active.

For more information about Sport England’s coronavirus response please visit: https://www.sportengland.org/how-we-can-help/coronavirus.

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