WSA planning for the future of the Sport and Leisure Sector

For us in the sport and leisure sector, there is of course continued frustration at the limits to activity we must all observe, but we are reassured by the measured approach colleagues are taking, given the severity of the situation we see highlighted in the media on a daily basis. Recovery from the pandemic is likely to continue for much of this year and we must all prepare accordingly.

All of the uncertainty makes it very hard to plan for the next three, six or nine months. We will all need to be as flexible as possible as we move through the year ahead, and ready to respond to the alert levels set out in the Welsh Government’s Coronavirus control plan (https://gov.wales/coronavirus-control-plan-alert-levels-wales).

In the meantime, we are committed to working with you to develop a plan to talk to policy and decision makers in Government about what it is going to take to get our sector back to full fitness. We started to plan for this before the Christmas break and will continue to work with you through the phased return groups to shape a collective response to the challenges we will undoubtedly face in 2021 and potentially longer.

As we mentioned at the end of the Business Continuity call on Wednesday this week, we would like to remind non-members that the advocacy services we have continued to provide throughout the last 9 months are paid for through membership fees and commercial income and not from the public purse. We therefore need to ensure that our priority is supporting our paying members. Our board has therefore taken the decision to reduce the support that we have provided to non-members from the end of January. This does not mean that we will not still share information through other representative organisations such as the WLGA, UK Active and CLUK. These organisations will still firmly remain as partners that will be able to share information with you. Should you choose to join up and ‘chip in’, please do contact the WSA team.

It has been truly amazing to witness the way our sector has pulled together throughout the pandemic and we are all committed to continuing to do so into the future, to ensure we can safeguard facilities, sports and the vital services out sector provides to the physical and mental wellbeing of the people of Wales. The sooner we can get back to doing this, the better.

We must also thank our colleagues in the Welsh Government, Sport Wales and Public Health Wales for their open and frank engagement with the sector throughout this crisis. If we continue to have a “Team Wales” approach, we are confident that Wales’ sporting landscape can emerge from this crisis fit and ready to go.

As always, we are here to help, so please do not hesitate to get in touch should you require any support.

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