Support for the physical activity sector

Those delivering sport and physical activity are experiencing many challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic. We're here to help and have collated all local and national guidance on how sport and physical activity can take place safely across the city-region.

From Monday 12th April, restrictions will loosen further as part of the government's roadmap out of lockdown. This will enable more physical activity to be able to take place. Read the full government guidance here. This guidance will remain in place until we reach Step 3 of the roadmap, which will be no earlier than 17th May.

If, after reading the information provided on this page you require further support, please contact us using the form at the bottom of this page.

What sport and physical activity can take place from 12th April?

Please ensure you keep up to date of all national guidance and your responsibilities to ensure sport and physical activity remains covid-compliant. This guidance will remain in place until we reach Step 3 of the roadmap, which will be no earlier than 17th May.

  • People can meet outdoors either in a group of 6 (from any number of households), or in a group of any size from up to 2 households (each household can include existing support bubbles, if eligible). This includes within private gardens. Social distancing must be maintained between people who don’t live together or share a support bubble.
  • Informal sport and physical activity has to follow the legal gathering limits for outdoors: the ‘rule of six’ or two households.
  • Changing rooms can be opened, but participants should be encouraged to avoid or minimise use where possible.
  • Spectators are only allowed on public land, where they must adhere to social gathering limits either in groups of six or two households.
  • Disabled people can take part in organised outdoor and indoor sport without being subject to social contact limits.
  • Anyone acting in a workforce capacity (for example volunteers, match officials, coaches and instructors) are exempt from the rules on gathering, however, they must remain socially distanced from players where possible during play/activity.
  • Travel should be minimised but can take place for the purpose of sport and physical activity. Car sharing, however, isn't permitted.

Outdoor sport and physical activity

  • Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis and basketball courts, sports pitches, outdoor skateparks, outdoor gyms and open-air swimming pools, are allowed to reopen.
  • Organised outdoor sport and physical activity for adults and children can return, which will be exempt from the legal gathering limits. More information about organised sport and activity below.

Organised outdoor sport and physical activity for adults and children can return, which will be exempt from the legal gathering limits. The threshold on participant numbers will be decided by each national governing body (NGB) or organising organisation and will follow Covid-secure guidance.Organised outdoor sport and physical activity must be formally organised by a qualified instructor, club, national governing body, company or charity and follow sport-specific guidance where appropriate.

Organised outdoor sport and activity includes:

  • Organised outdoor group activities (e.g. outdoor exercise classes, group cycle rides, walking groups etc.)
  • Outdoor team sports (including adapted versions for ‘higher risk’ team sports)
  • Other organised outdoor sports, such as, but not limited to, tennis, golf, horse riding, water sports will be able to resume.
  • Organised sport participation events (road races, running and cycling events, triathlons etc.).
  • Outdoor personal training and coaching sessions (where formally organised and follows Covid-secure guidance.)

If the sport is not formally organised, or the sport-specific guidance is not being followed, this is considered to be informal or self-organised sport and will need to follow the guidance on outdoor legal gathering limits.

Participants should adhere to social gathering limits when not actively participating, e.g. during breaks in play, or when awaiting substitutions. Social interaction before and after playing any sport should only take place in separate and distinct groups consisting of up to six people or two households.

Indoor sport and physical activity

  • Indoor leisure facilities can open for adult individual/household use only (no group activities are allowed). More information about permitted indoor sport and activity below. NB. You don’t need to wear a face covering while exercising, but you should wear a face covering at all other times when at an indoor sports facility.
    • Indoor facilities that can reopen include, but aren’t limited to: gym and leisure centres; indoor sports courts and pitches; swimming pools; fitness studios; and multi-sport facilities (such as climbing walls, driving ranges, archery venues, indoor riding centres, and indoor skate parks).
  • Group sessions and exercise classes, and indoor sports/activities that require more than one person (for example, badminton, bowls etc.), cannot take place unless you’re playing with someone from within your household/support bubble.
  • Personal training sessions can take place indoors one to one or for one household. It cannot take place indoors in people’s homes unless the premises are classified as a business premises. For more information on personal training sessions please see CIMSPA advice UKActive advice on their respective websites.
  • Parent and child activities can take place indoors and outdoors with a limit of 15 attendees. Children under the age of five do not count towards the attendee limit.
  • Organised indoor children’s sport and physical activity must be formally organised by a qualified instructor, club, national governing body, company or charity and follow sport-specific guidance where appropriate. Children's indoor sport and physical activity sessions must be done in groups of 15, in line with guidance from the Department for Education and out of school setting guidance.
  • Combat sport - review the combat sport framework here
    • Adults: Organised contact combat sports can take place indoors for adults in Phase 1 (padwork only) of the combat sport framework, in line with the relevant national governing body guidance. It can only take place individually or in one to one coaching sessions in line with wider government restrictions on access to indoor facilities.
    • Children: Organised contact combat sports for children (under 18s) can take place in Phase 2 of the combat sports framework, in line with the relevant national governing body guidance. Groups should follow the Out of School Setting guidance on numbers within a session which is available on the government’s website.
  • You don’t need to wear a face covering while exercising, but you should wear a face covering at all other times when at an indoor sports facility.

Further guidance for indoor sport and physical activity

Please read the full government guidance here to remain up to date with all new restrictions

Government guidance

  • Government guidance for the roadmap out of lockdown can be found here.
  • Sport England guidance can be found here.
  • Government social distancing guidelines should be followed at all times. Find them here.
  • Government guidance on grassroots sports for safe provision including team sport, contact combat sport and organised sport events
  • Guidance for providers of grassroots sports and gyms/leisure providers here.

Support for clubs, coaches and instructors

  • The latest government guidance affects what sport and physical activity can take place as well as where and how many people can gather together. Please be aware of and adhere to the guidelines.
  • Sport deliverers should remain up to date with and follow the national governing body's guidance to ensure compliance with the government approved action plan. Find a list of all national governing bodies here.
  • Sport England have created a Return to Play briefing which shares the latest insight with some ideas on how it can be used to encourage people to return. Download it here.
  • Club Matters have created a range of resources to support clubs and organisations to get back to activity here.
  • Activity Alliance have shared the top ways to adapt activities to be inclusive of both disabled and non-disabled people. See how you can adapt your activities here.
  • UK Coaching Forum to support coaches where you'll find the latest news around available support, safeguarding and ongoing discussion. Find it here.
  • Special Olympics Great Britain have pulled together this Return To Activity Guide for athletes and families.
  • Free training available to enable workers and volunteers to return with confidence. Find out more about and register for the ReActivate Course here.
  • Sport Structures have moved their courses online to enable coaches to continue to upskill themselves virtually. View the courses here.
  • The NSPCC have created safeguarding advice and support for remote teaching and coaching. Access the support here.

How clubs are engaging their members during this time

Guidance for facility owners

  • Frequently asked questions related to sports facilities and gyms can be found here
  • Activity Alliance have created guidance to support and inclusive response to re-opening activity to ensure that disabled people are able to access physical activity.
  • Government guidance for the safe use of multi-purpose community facilities. Find it here.
  • Support for the safe operation of gyms, leisure centres and facilities is available from ukactive here.
  • Guidance from Swim England to support returning to pools. Find it here.
  • Guidance for managing gyms and outdoor playgrounds can be found here.
  • CIMSPA have compiled guidance to support the re-opening of facilities. Find it here.

Guidance specifically related to those working with children and young people

  • Government guidance on Protective measures for out-of school settings is available here.
  • Government guidance for parents and carers of children attending out-of-school settings can be found here.
  • Managing youth sector activities and spaces from the National Youth Association is available here.
  • Guidance for those from further education settings can be found here.
  • A framework for the safe delivery of children’s activity provision during social distancing from ukactive can be found here.

Funding support

  • Sport England Return to Play Small Grants fund - grants of between £300 and £10,000 to help sport and activity groups, clubs and organisations respond to the immediate challenges of returning to play in a Covid-19-safe environment.
  • Sport England Return to Play Community Asset Fund - grants between £10,001 to £50,000 to help local sports clubs and organisations to adapt and open important places and spaces that can help them welcome back their local community safely.
  • Sport England Return to Play: Active Together - a crowdfunding initiative that can match fund, up to £10,000, successful Crowdfunder campaigns.
  • The Charity Excellence Framework have created the Covid-19 Funder Database which enables you to search for emergency funding.
  • Comic Relief Covid-19 Community Fund to support local grass roots organisations to respond to the needs of vulnerable individuals, families and communities during the covid-19 crisis and recover from the impact on their services. Find more information and apply here.
  • Comic Relief Covid-19 Community Fund offers grants to grassroots community organisations with an income of less than £250,000. Find more information and apply here.
  • The Volant Charitable Trust Covid-19 Response Fund for charities that demonstrate a strong focus on alleviating social deprivation and helping vulnerable groups who have been particularly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Find more information and apply here.
  • A number of National Governing Bodies (NGBs) have also made sport-specific funding available, view your sport's website to see if they have any funding available.

Business support

  • Government support for businesses and employers can be found here.
  • The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) has created guidance and resources to support charities, voluntary organisations and volunteers during the covid-19 pandemic. Access the support here.
  • The GC Business Growth Hub are helping businesses across Greater Manchester navigate the latest government information and provide specialist advice. Find out more about what they can offer, including calls with advisors here.
  • The Federation of Small Businesses have collated a range of advice and guidance for small businesses and the self-employed including answering frequently asked questions and actions you can take. View the information here.
  • CIMSPA have created 'Stronger Together’ an online information hub with sector specific updates, advice and support offers. The support includes free and discounted services and products to help support the sport and physical activity sector – Find it here.
  • The Sport and Recreation Alliance have created the Governance Bites programme to provide additional governance support - Find it here.

Marketing Support

#KeepGMMoving

We have launched the campaign #KeepGMMoving to encourage everyone across the city region to keep moving. We've compiled a number of ways that you can keep moving online here. Share the work you're doing to keep your communities moving using the campaign hashtag, #KeepGMMoving, working together we will help keep Greater Manchester moving. If you want to help to #KeepGMMoving, you can access the free resource bank here with images and social posts.

Join The Movement

Sport England are doing a large amount of work to support the sector through this pandemic. View the full range of work happening here.

As part of their support, Sport England created the Join The Movement campaign, to encourage people to keep moving whilst staying at home and as lockdown restrictions ease.

Inclusive and Accessible Communications

Effective marketing and communications are essential and we are all working in new creative ways so we can reach and inform more people, including those with disabilities and with long-term health conditions. That’s why the key principles for inclusive and accessible communications are important to ensure your messages reach everyone. Activity Alliance have created a guide to support you to do this. Access it here.

Local support across Greater Manchester

Bolton

Bolton Community and Voluntary Services are a local charity set up to provide direct support to clubs and groups in Bolton.

  • Click here to sign up to their newsletters for updates on the latest Covid-19 updates, funds, training and support offers local to Bolton. 

Bury

Bury VCFA (Voluntary, Community and Faith Alliance) offer direct support to local clubs and groups in Bury. Click here to find out how they can help. Stay up to date on the latest Covid-19 updates in Bury with these newsletters:

Manchester

The MCRactive team are offering support across all club and workforce issues and are contactable on [email protected].

Manchester Community Central are here to support local clubs and groups in Manchester click here for their latest Covid-19 advice and resources.

  • Click here to sign up to their newsletters for updates on the latest updates, funds, training and support offers local to Manchester.

Oldham

Action Together is committed to providing support, information and guidance to clubs, volunteers and community groups, around COVID-19 - access the support here.

  • Click here to sign up to their newsletters for updates on the latest updates, funds, training and support offers local to Oldham.

Rochdale

Action Together is committed to providing support, information and guidance to clubs, volunteers and  community groups, around COVID-19 - access the support here.

  • Click here to sign up to their newsletters for updates on the latest updates, funds, training and support offers local to Rochdale.

Salford

Salford CVS are collating the support and services from people and organisations across Salford to support the community groups who need it most. Access the resources here.

  • Click here to sign up to their newsletters for updates on the latest Covid-19 updates, funds, training and support offers local to

Stockport

We are currently researching to find the best support local to Stockport community groups and residents. If you are aware of such support, please email [email protected]

Tameside

The Tameside Sport and Physical Activity Network and Active Tameside are still operating and offering support to local clubs during Covid-19. Head to their website here or get in touch by emailing: [email protected]

Action Together is committed to providing support, information and guidance to clubs, volunteers and  community groups, around COVID-19 - access the support here.

  • Click here to sign up to their newsletters for updates on the latest updates, funds, training and support offers local to

Trafford

Thrive Trafford are collating Guidance for Voluntary, Community, Social Enterprise (VCSE) and Faith organisations which can be found here.

They have also collated information on how you can give help or receive help which can be found here.

Wigan

Wigan Borough Community Partnership are a local charity set up to provide direct support to clubs and groups in Wigan which can be found here.

Contact Us

If you need further support for your club or community group during these difficult times, please contact us using the form below.

Please provide as much detail as possible so we can provide you with the support you need as quickly as possible