Employment has been hit hard by pandemic restrictions but none more than for those that traditionally require in-person communication. The sports, activities, and leisure sector saw an estimated £90m a week in lost revenue according to Huw Edwards, CEO of UK Active and in the last year, a survey by CIMPSA claimed that 6% of people or around 30,000 professionals were planning to leave the sector.
Whilst the sector has shown great resilience, bringing services to online customers and clients if possible. The pandemic has revealed larger degrees of inequalities as well as the genuine importance of sports and sports education. With the confirmation of the removal of most of the existing restrictions on July 19th in England, it’s a great time to take stock of the new opportunities available in the sector.
For coaching professionals looking to build on their skills, Sport England and CIMPSA have launched a digital marketing hub, offering bite-sized courses to help them engage with prospective customers and clients. Announced in February, the ReTrain initiative will put £1.5 million into ‘retooling’ the sector with over 18,000 new sport and physical activity qualifications.
Young people, especially those in primary school have been greatly impacted by the lack of physical activity with the advent of online learning. However, the UK government have invested 10.1 million to improve swimming and sports facilities for the benefit of children across the country. The Department of Education has also confirmed the 320m pupils’ premium along with the underspend from the current academic year, will be available to schools to spend on increasing access to all types of physical activity.
It’s time to look forward to a brighter future for our sector.