The Royal Life Saving Society UK is supporting #SaveOurSports, a campaign by the UK’s sport and physical activity sector, urging the Government to save grassroots sport, fitness, and leisure facilities from permanent closure due to COVID-19.

The sport and leisure industry has a vital role in the physical and mental health of the public. The unprecedented challenges it has faced over the past few months could result in sport and leisure facilities closing down; job redundancies; and a significant impact on the grassroots sports - all of which will affect future generations. Without emergency government support, like that given to the arts sector, community sport and physical activity face a bleak future.

We are encouraging our members and supporters, to sign the Sports Recovery Fund petition which calls on the Government to instigate emergency support to ensure: sports clubs; fitness sites; and leisure facilities (the lifeblood of communities across the nation) remain open and survive the coming, difficult months.

Robert Gofton, CEO of the Royal Life Saving Society UK comments: "We are backing this campaign because time is running out, so we need urgent and decisive Government action to help save leisure centres and community pools.

In our opinion swimming in a well-maintained pool is one of the safest environments against COVID transmission, studies have already indicated very low transmission rates within our sector. Pool operators have stringent guidelines and have worked incredibly hard to ensure the public can use their facilities in a safe environment.

Time and time again we have heard the Government say they will act on scientific evidence, so, I would be interested to know if any Government data exists that supports the closure of swimming pools to reduce cases of infection.

Government restrictions are putting our sector in a very vulnerable position and forcing them to close again (as part of local lock-downs). Without proper financial support, this could be the final blow.

Alongside the health and wellbeing benefits, swimming is a life skill. Without access to pools and providing swimming lessons, we are in danger of building a bigger problem in only a few years’ time. Already evidence shows a third of accidental drownings occur between the age of 15-34, and this undoubtedly will rise if we don’t get people back into the water.

With transmission rates so low and the future consequences of not supporting the sector being so high, we are calling on the Government to #SaveOurSports, allow them to open up, and give them the funding they need to save lives so that everyone can enjoy the water safely."

For more information, visit the UK Active website by clicking here

Join us and support the campaign by sharing why your local club or venue is so important to you via your social channels using #SaveOurSports.