Wales Netball welcomes today’s Welsh Government announcement of the Spectator Sports Survival Fund for sports which have been adversely impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic.
The funding, worth £17.7 million to the sector, will help Wales Netball continue its vital work on behalf of Wales’ netball community. It has been designed to provide sports with immediate financial support through winter. As an indoor, team sport, the pandemic has had a profound impact on netball, played by tens of thousands of women and girls across the country. This funding will help the National Governing Body continue to lead netball through the ongoing restrictions and will help to safeguard the future of the sport.
As part of the fund, Wales Netball will receive £100,000. The fund will also be supporting the sports of rugby union, football, cricket, ice hockey, rugby league and horseracing. The revenue package will be allocated directly to the sports’ national governing bodies from Welsh Government.
Sarah Jones, Wales Netball CEO said: “We wholeheartedly welcome today’s Welsh Government announcement regarding the Spectator Sports Survival Fund. This funding comes at a crucial time for Welsh sport, with the pandemic having a devastating effect on the sector, including netball.
“This news today is the result of a significant number of weeks working with Sport Wales to make a compelling case to Welsh Government. This is a welcome boost not only to the organisation but also for the morale of all the people that are working so hard to keep the wheels turning at the moment.
“Ordinarily, thousands of spectators come to watch Wales and Celtic Dragons netball matches each year. Not only does this help to inspire the next generation of netballers, but it also drives revenue, which helps our sport to thrive. This funding goes some way to mitigating the losses suffered due to the pandemic. It will help us to stabilise the sport and navigate the coming months.”
Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas MS, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism said: “While restrictions on supporters at events have been vital in stopping the spread of the virus and saving lives, there can be no doubt that they have created real hardships for many sports clubs, many of whom receive a significant proportion of their income through spectator attendance.
“Sport is an important sector of our economy and has a positive impact on our mental and physical wellbeing. Sporting events provide important shared experiences, have often been a welcome distraction during the pandemic and will be a vital player in our recovery and healing after the crisis.
“I know this money will provide some stability to those sports worst affected by the loss of revenue during the pandemic, helping to bridge the financial gap until spectators are able to return safely.”
Finance Minister Rebecca Evans MS said: “We’re committed to providing a responsible and targeted approach to addressing the financial impact of the pandemic. The package of support we have announced today takes the total funding for this sector to more than £40m since the start of the crisis, helping to provide longer-term stability for a sector that has suffered significant financial loss.
“As we look ahead to brighter days, sport and physical activity will be vital players in our recovery, helping to develop a healthier and more resilient Wales.”
The grants allocated to spectator sports in Wales are as follows: