RFL among 200 others to write to Prime Minister in “urgent plea”

A coalition of more than 200 bodies and individuals from the worlds of health, sport, recreation, and leisure including the RFL has written to the Prime Minister with an urgent plea for greater support for grassroots facilities and clubs amid the ongoing energy crisis.

The Sport and Recreation Alliance, alongside sector partners, has played a leading role in co-ordinating the letter. It builds on the Alliance’s consistent message to Government over a number of weeks, urging it not to take sport and recreation in this country for granted and provide additional support as part of the Energy Bills Discount Scheme.

With energy costs relief for the UK’s swimming pools, leisure centres, community facilities, and gyms ending on 31 March, thousands of facilities and clubs are at risk of permanent closure or reduced services, as public and private sector organisations of all sizes face unprecedented financial challenges with bills remaining up to 200% higher than normal.

The signatories of the letter include a significant number of Alliance members, and range from major health bodies to sport’s national governing bodies, and the nation’s biggest fitness and leisure groups. Athletes such as Rebecca Adlington and celebrities including Davina McCall have also added their support.

The letter warns that, “Failure to identify bespoke support for the sector (and schools operating sports facilities) as part of the Energy Bills Discount Scheme will be the final straw for many facilities and services – especially swimming pools.

“Without national intervention, communities will see the loss of essential local services, including swimming lessons for children which are vital for water safety; multi-sport offerings; mental health services; bespoke programmes for older citizens, ethnically diverse communities, women and girls, and disabled people; and long-term health programmes including cancer rehabilitation and support for those with musculoskeletal conditions and type 2 diabetes.”

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