Support for the physical activity and sport sector 

COVID-19 is, without a doubt, changing the world around us. MSP is committed to helping the physical activity and sport sector in the Liverpool City Region (LCR) both react and adapt to the changes.

Our aim will be to:
• help you to adapt where you can
• support you where adapting isn’t an option
• identify opportunities in the short and long term.
• help shape how the future of the sector looks

We’re continually looking at what support we can signpost both organisations and individuals in the sector to via this page, which will be updated as things evolve.

Sport England ‘Return to Play’ guidance

Sport England are providing a dedicated
Return to Play page.

It’s designed to help the physical activity and sport sector get relevant,  accurate information on the national baseline as the government’s measures around COVID-19 evolve.  It’s a great page to bookmark as a go-to source of up-to-date information.

N.B. To understand what you CAN do during current COVID-19 restrictions in the Liverpool City Region (LCR) go here.

Other Sport England support and initiatives 

  • Sport England Return to Play Fund.

There’s no specific closing date for this fund. It will close as soon as all monies have been allocated, so you’re encouraged to apply ASAP.

This fund is made up of three elements:

    • Small Grants – £10m to help sport and activity groups, clubs and organisations respond to the immediate challenges of returning to play in a coronavirus-safe way.
    • Community Asset Fund – £5m pot to help local sports clubs and organisations adapt and open important places and spaces to help their local community return to play safely.
    • Active Together – £1.5m pot – a crowdfunding initiative that can match fund successful Crowdfunder campaigns up to £10,000.

The fund will give priority to the following:

    • Projects located in areas of high deprivation (decile 1-3 of the Indices of Deprivation). To see which decile your project location fits into go to use this postcode checker
    • Organisations working with Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, people on lower incomes, disabled people, people with long-term health conditions and people experiencing a greater burden of care because of coronavirus.
    • Organisations that don’t have a significant level of reserve funding available to utilise.

For details go to the Sport England website

  • Club Matters – Clubs and organisations are experiencing lots of challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic. Sport England’s one-stop-shop for sports clubs, groups and organisations involved in the delivery of physical activity and sport Club Matters, is offering tips, tools and ideas to help your club in these difficult times. Visit the page.
  • CIMSPA and Sport England’s FREE ReActivate training platform to equip sport, fitness, physical activity professionals & volunteers with the skills they need to confidently return. Funded by Sport England, delivered by a consortium led by Future Active Workforce. Read about it here.
  • If you’re running a Sport England-funded programme then the key message is that there’s flexibility around delivery plans and targets. They’re also open to listening to suggestions to use previously agreed funds in new ways that will help you meet objectives, even if that means a re-think about how you do that to meet the needs of our now fast-changing world. Find out more.
  • Sport England’s Join the Movement campaign:
    The campaign is
    funded by The National Lottery and gives people the advice and tools they need to stay physically active while the country deals with the coronavirus outbreak. The sport and physical activity sector is being encouraged to get behind the campaign to capitalise on it. Providers can visit this page.
  • Find out about the Sport England Community Emergency Fund here.

Business Support

Working with MSP on ideas

  • Get in touch with us if you have innovative ideas that could help support and adapt the sector at this current time. We are monitoring sources of funding and may be able to consult with you to help shape ideas and react quickly to make the best use of available funding.

Mental Wellbeing Support

This is a difficult time for everyone and it’s important to take time to look after yourself. Keeping up a physical activity habit yourself will help hugely, but these links may just be useful too.

Charity Support

  • Support for charities and community organisations from The National Lottery Community Fund: Read the latest information here.
  • LCVS Funding & Support page – updated daily. Visit here.
  • PH Holt Emergency Fund. In response to the pandemic, PH Holt Foundation has opened an emergency fund. The funder is now welcoming applications from small and medium-sized Merseyside charities. To be eligible for an emergency grant, you must be a registered charity in Merseyside with an income under £1 million. Grants start at £1,000, with most awards falling between £5,000-£10,000. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Apply now, via the PH Holt website
  • NCVO Funding and support page Visit here
  • Charity Bank have a list of available funding resources for charities.

UK Active’s Fit Together resources

‘Fit Together’ is the UK Active industry-wide campaign that led the reopening of fitness and leisure facilities by providing operators with the practical resources for a safe and successful return.

You can read their framework document here.

Plus, register to download the campaign toolkit here.

The toolkit contains helpful assets to help plan and communicate about re-opening and safety.


Activity Alliance guidance

Activity Alliance has released guidance to help providers to enable welcoming and more accessible environments in light of COVID-19. The guide is called ‘Reopening Activity: An inclusive response’ and has been produced in consultation with partners across sport, leisure and disability equality. The national charity wants providers to consider the guidance as part of their ongoing commitment to disabled people’s inclusion.

The guide available to download here.


Coaching Support

  • UK Coaching has launched a new toolkit that will ensure the nation’s coaches are equipped with the knowledge and skills to provide great coaching experiences to others. The Duty to Care Toolkit is available on UK Coaching’s learning and development platform, has come to fruition after extensive consultative support from a range of partners and coaches across the UK.
  • Online Safeguarding and protection courses 
  • Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU) have resources for clubs and organisations to utilise best practice in remote teaching and coaching. Visit their website to learn more.
  • LTA have advice for Tennis coaches with regards to coronavirus. Find out more.
  • Government guidance for personal trainers and coaches. Details here


Government guidance on the phased return of sport and recreation in light of Coronavirus (COVID-19):

  • Keeping your loyal customer/ participant base moving when you’re not able to deliver sessions. We know that this is a worrying time for those who aren’t able to deliver their sessions face-to-face. For some physical activity and sport providers offering ‘virtual’ classes or workout programmes is one option you might like to explore. However, if this isn’t viable for you and you’d like to direct your existing customers base to alternative home-based or social-distancing-friendly activity options we’ve compiled a list here. This should help them keep up good habits, ready for when you’re able to start delivering face-to-face again.
  • Free Courses from Open Learn. Open Learn are offering free courses in exploring sport coaching and psychology. If have you experience of sport or fitness either as a participant or a coach or inquisitive about how sport works behind the scenes then check out the link here.
  • Charted Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMPSA) Stronger Together Portal. CIMPSA have created this hub as a place where we can bring together advice and practical assistance on coronavirus (Covid-19), including generous offers of support from many partners. The following below are links to the subsections of support from the portal; Stronger Together – Introduction Page , Support for the Sector , Support for Business, Support for Individuals

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