Swim England has welcomed confirmation that PE and School Sport Premium government funding will continue at £320 million for the next academic year. “This is a really positive announcement from the Department for Education and will be a huge help to primary schools up and down the country,” responds Swim England Chief Executive Jane Nickerson. “We’ve long been calling for the continuation of the PE and School Sport Premium, so this is a welcome result that will help improve school swimming and water safety sessions for our children who so desperately need them,” she continues. “With so many children having missed out on swimming opportunities due to the pandemic, this funding is needed more than ever. “I hope schools will use it to improve their school swimming and water safety offering to pupils to make sure that every child leaves primary school set up to enjoy the water safely for the rest of their lives.” Sport England has announced £195 million is being made available to help the sport and physical activity sector through the current crisis.
It includes a £20 million Community Emergency Fund, which will be opened immediately for swimming clubs and community organisations to bid for grants of between £300 and £10,000.
“We’re well aware of the impact the coronavirus outbreak is having on some of our clubs across the country,” says Nickerson. “It’s fantastic to see Sport England launch this Community Emergency Fund to help clubs across all sports that are struggling the most in this difficult time. “We’d encourage our swimming clubs to carefully look at this criteria and see if this financial package can assist those of you most in need through this crisis. “These are worrying times for our clubs but we will get through this unprecedented situation and I’d like to thank Sport England for delivering this financial support,” she adds.
“There are also plenty of other government funding sources that could be a huge help to our clubs as well and we’d urge them to investigate if these are a viable option. “We are also exploring other opportunities to support swimming clubs financially and hope to announce further details in the near future.”
As well as the Community Emergency Fund, Sport England has also announced:
• A £5 million pot for existing partners to bid into if they’re facing specific financial difficulty.
• An additional £55 million to support the sport and physical activity sector during the ongoing period of restrictions, to fund new and innovative ways to keep people active.
• £115 million rollover of current funding into 2021-22 to give long-term certainty to more than 100 well- established partners who play a vital role in the delivery of sport and physical activity in England.
Swim England has also released a new health fact sheet which focuses on the benefits of swimming as part of Covid-19 recovery. The resource is titled ‘Swimming after the Covid-19 pandemic’ and will be added to the range of fact sheets on swimming with particular health conditions that have been developed over the last two years.