Scotland’s national agency for sport is set to provide an additional £450,000 in funding for three sports as part of its ongoing commitment to supporting the sporting system during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The funding from sportscotland is being invested in Badminton Scotland (£120,000), the Camanachd Association (£80,000) and Scottish Gymnastics (£250,000). It forms part of a £1.5million Scottish Governing Body (SGB) COVID-19 Recovery Support Fund, which is being delivered with National Lottery funding. A further £1.05million is expected to be allocated across the SGB network over the coming months.
The investment is being made in the form of grants and interest free loans and is in addition to earlier steps taken to support the sporting system, including accelerated annual funding and the relaxation of associated delivery targets. A total of £32.4million has been accelerated to local and national partners, helping protect up to 1,600 jobs across the sector.
Chief Executive of sportscotland, Stewart Harris, said: “It has been an incredibly challenging period for Scottish sport but the sporting system has shown real resilience in its response. There has been a shared commitment across the sector that has allowed us to make progress at the appropriate times, and to support each other, as we make our way through the pandemic.
“That collective work is ongoing and there are still a number of challenges that lie ahead. The release of the first phase of additional investment as part of the SGB COVID-19 Recovery Support Fund, will allow partners to focus on their continued recovery and has been made possible thanks to National Lottery players.
“We all want to see sport return safely and we will continue to do all that we can to help achieve this. Sport and physical activity can play a key role in the nation’s recovery and that will be central to our approach over the coming months.”
Chief Executive of Badminton Scotland Keith Russell said: “We entered 2020 with the ambition to transform Badminton in Scotland by engaging more effectively with the 150,000 regular participants within every community across Scotland. The pandemic has meant it has not been possible to progress our new Strategic Plan and the consequential impact on our sport and Badminton Scotland has put us in a very challenging financial position; endeavouring to continue with our transformational programme with very limited income from memberships, competitions and commercial activities.
“The financial support from sportscotland has not only offset some of our losses this year but more importantly has given us the confidence to actively plan the continuation of our challenging modernisation programme in the coming year. It also means that we can support our talented athletes who, even with the constraints of the restrictions, have been able to perform at a very high level. Our National team, against the odds, qualified for the European Mixed Team Finals in Finland and almost beat Denmark, the reigning champions, to qualify for the semi-finals.
“In the current circumstances, where we still have no guarantee that it will be practical for indoor sport to restart before the new season, the financial and practical support from sportscotland is extremely helpful.”
Chief Executive of the Camanachd Association, Derek Keir, said: “Mitigating the challenges of COVID-19 has been hugely challenging, however, securing this funding from sportscotland provides vital protection for our core services to all clubs and communities this year. It is part of our purpose to protect shinty and to provide high-quality support and expertise to our communities so the timing of this support is greatly appreciated and builds on the incredible support we had in 2020 from the Scottish Government, sportscotland and our sponsors.
“Our priority this year is to restart shinty when it is safe to do so and to do this with opportunities for all in line with best practice and government guidance. We are optimistic that the coming months will see a return to shinty and we would like to thank the Scottish Government and sportscotland for their continued support.”
Chief Executive of Scottish Gymnastics, Doc McKelvey, said: “We are grateful to sportscotland for COVID-19 support funding to help us through the pandemic. Our membership and commercial activity accounts for 70 percent of our annual income. With clubs closed, membership across the sport has dropped by 35% and we cannot generate income from normal activities because of restrictions.
“The funding will allow us to deliver core services to our members in the next financial year and the loan will help with cash flow while we recover from the pandemic and return to previous levels of activity and income.”