Lewis MacDonald - Labour - North East Scotland May 2016. Pic - Andrew Cowan/Scottish Parliament

MSPs call for investigation into impact of COVID-19 on sports clubs

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An enquiry has been launched to examine the impact COVID-19 restrictions on sports clubs and leisure venues, are having on local communities in Scotland. 

The enquiry, set up by the Scottish Parliament’s Health and Sport Committee, aims to find out what benefits these clubs and venues have on their communities.

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Sports organisations have been asked about the support they need to reap these benefits as restrictions remain in place.

The mental and physical health of individuals and communities who rely on sport and leisure will also be examined.

Lewis MacDonald MSP, the Convenor of the Health and Sport Committee, spoke of the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on these communities.

“Our sporting and leisure clubs are woven into the fabric of our communities providing a wealth of benefits to our society which so many people rely on,” he said.

“But with a ban on mass gatherings since March and with leisure centres closed for much of this time, the Covid-19 pandemic has hit this sector particularly hard. In many cases threatening their very existence and their ability to provide vital community services.”

MacDonald spoke of the importance of speaking to those affected to get a better idea of how much they are affected.

“Our inquiry wants to hear from sporting clubs, organisations and leisure venues on the unprecedented financial challenges they are facing and the support they require to come through this pandemic.

“We are also keen to hear how individuals across Scotland who engage with these institutions and the various community services they provide have been impacted.”

The Committee wrote to the Scottish Government last week to find out more regarding both the timeline for reopening football stadiums to the public and financial troubles facing clubs.

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