Sign petition to help protect amateur boxing’s future
November 5, 2020 | by Matt Halfpenny
England Boxing is calling on all boxers, coaches, officials, volunteers and their family and friends to sign the #SaveOurSports petition calling for a £1.57 billion Sports Recovery Fund to help grass roots clubs and venues survive the Coronavirus Pandemic.
The cross-sport document is being supported by all the major national governing bodies (NGBs) of sport in England, as well as UK Active and the Sport and Recreational Alliance.
The petition reads: “We call on government to instigate emergency funding in the form of a Sports Recovery Fund to ensure sport clubs, fitness and leisure facilities – the lifeblood of communities across the nation – can remain open and survive the coming difficult months.
“Grassroots sport, fitness and leisure facilities are facing collapse due to Covid-19. Without emergency Government support, like that given to the arts sector, community sport and the UK’s physical and mental health faces a bleak future that will be difficult to recover from, damaging Britain’s ability to Build Back Better.
“Action is needed now to ensure everyone continues to have the opportunity to play the sport they love and be physically active. A Sports Recovery Fund will help achieve this.”
The petition comes on the back of disappointment that boxing gyms and other sports facilities are having to once again close from Thursday (5th November), despite an excellent track record of safety and hygiene that the sector has sustained in response to the challenge of COVID-19.
From over 1,900 facilities and five million visits in the week of 5th to 11th October, just 156 customers reported attending a facility before being confirmed positive with the virus.
This indicates an incidence rate of 2.88 cases per 100,000 visits, whereas the UK case rate in the general population, as reported by the Government for the same period, was 150.83 cases per 100,000 people.
Furthermore, the data collated for the UK across the whole period since reopening – measured from 25th July to 11th October – shows the sites have seen more than 45 million visits, with an overall rate of 0.99 cases per 100,000 visits.
Backing the petition, England Boxing’s Chief Executive Officer, Gethin Jenkins said: “If proper funding can’t be obtained, then the implications for our clubs is dire. A majority of our clubs operate in some of the most marginalised areas of the country and have been hardest hit.
“Many are already providing access to facilities free of charge in order to allow boxers the chance to alleviate the physical and mental health impact this pandemic has caused. Whilst there was help initially, it was meant only as a stop gap, and that was over seven months ago, so the money is running out.
“Without boxing clubs to provide support in their local communities, then the physical and mental health impact is going to be severe and will out-last the pandemic. Help is urgently needed.”
You can read more about the #SaveOurSports campaign by clicking here.