Government confirms support for tennis and athletics
The Sports Minister confirmed that the governing bodies of tennis and athletics have received funding to support the delivery of their summer event calendars, while the gradual return of spectators continues under the roadmap locking output.
As part of the government’s sport survival program, a loan of £ 14.3million has been made available to the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), meaning it could commit to the start of the season. year to ensure the grass season can go ahead. Loan support enabled the LTA to host two events in Nottingham and further events in Birmingham, Eastbourne and the Queen’s Club, ahead of the Wimbledon Championships.
All of these events drastically reduced gates revenue and doubled usual net costs due to limited spectator capacities and COVID-19. The Nottingham, Birmingham and Eastbourne tournaments were all elite women’s events and helped ensure that UK and international players could prepare for the championships while remaining in COVID secure environments.
Meanwhile, UK Athletics were offered a £ 1.2million loan which supported the organization of the UK Track and Field Championships, the Olympic Test Event, which took place in Manchester from June 25-27, and therefore provided the platform to help a certain qualify for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. The funding will also help the Diamond League British Grand Prix, the last major home warm-up event, which takes place at Gateshead International Stadium on July 13.
Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston said:
There was a real risk that our tennis and athletic talents did not have the opportunity to properly prepare and compete before major events, like the Olympics.
With this funding, tennis and athletics events have been able to plan with confidence, supporting our sports stars and ensuring the great British summer of sport continues.
Scott Lloyd, CEO of the Lawn Tennis Association, said:
We would like to thank the government and Sport England for their assistance over the past seven months. Knowing that loan support is available has allowed us to plan with some certainty and incur expenses as we can only admit 25% of the spectators to run our early summer events safely and our levels. investment being twice the normal cost.
Although we have reduced costs internally to manage this period more generally, we can now plan ahead to 2022 and seek to capitalize on increased participation by supporting indoor community and public places. as they help recover from the consequences of the pandemic.
Joanna Coates, Managing Director of UK Athletics, said:
We are delighted to have received funding from the DCMS Sport Survival Package. The reduction in the number of spectators allowed at events and the uncertain climate caused by COVID have strained many sports over the past 15 months and such support is making a significant difference to athletics.
The funds have already helped ensure that we are able to host the Muller British Track and Field Championships, our Olympic test event, and will also allow us to support the Muller British Grand Prix later this month.
These events are extremely important competitive opportunities that prepare our athletes to perform at their best when competing in the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, and we are grateful to have received the package at such a crucial time for our sport.
Chairman of the Independent Council, Sir Ian Cheshire said:
These loan awards to the LTA and UK Athletics are another important step in the government’s commitment to support spectacle sports to keep operating during the pandemic.
Following the March budget announcement confirming a £ 300million extension to the Sport Survival Program, the independent council continues to work at a sustained pace to secure appropriate support for sports in need.
The Sport Survival Package is any government’s most generous bespoke support for its national sport sector in the world.
The £ 300million winter phase focused on helping major spectacle sports severely affected by coronavirus restrictions to survive the winter and cover essential costs. In recent months, funding has also been given to Rugby Union, National League and Women’s Football, Horse Racing, Rugby League, Badminton, Basketball, Netball, Hockey on ice, speedway and drag races. Requests for support were submitted by individual sports to an independent decision-making board, supported by Sport England.
In March the chancellor announced additional support of £ 300million, is expected to benefit major summer spectator sports, as the exit from lockdown continues and the majority of sports stadiums open at reduced capacity, unless they host accredited pilot events as part of the program research on government events.
Further details on the £ 300million funding program available online, with further announcements to follow as support is agreed.
In total, the sport and leisure sector has benefited from more than £ 1.5 billion in business support made available by the government, including the leave program, the reduction in activity rates and the business interruption loan program that has helped many sports clubs and recreation businesses survive. .