The Effects on Children’s Mental and Physical Health from COVID-19 Related Cuts to Grassroots Sports Clubs

June 28, 2021

The Effects on Children’s Mental and Physical Health from COVID-19 Related Cuts to Grassroots Sports Clubs

Our analysis on the effects of the Coronavirus crisis on exercise, confidence and skills in young people revealed some alarming results.

We recently carried out analysis into the impact of COVID-19 on young people and we were shocked to see the true extent of the impact of the pandemic on grassroots clubs which provide children with vital exercise, confidence, and skills.

The Effects on Children

As a result of the pandemic, almost six million British children are not currently getting their recommended 60 minutes of exercise per day. This amounts to an incredible 45% of all children in the UK.1

Our research had some other startling findings:

  • Fewer children meeting their recommended 60 minutes of daily exercise in 2020 than in 2019.
  • Vital extra-curricular activities have been suspended in 72 percent of primary schools in the UK for the current academic year.2
  • Children who stay active are 15.5 times less likely to suffer from obesity than those who don’t.3
  • Children who regularly play team sports feel six percent happier and 12 percent more satisfied with life on average when compared to those who don’t play sport.4

With half of all mental health conditions established by the age of 14, concerns are mounting that this could have a long-term effect on a whole generation of children whose access to extra-curricular activities has been incredibly limited.

Sports organisations have been among the hardest hit, with research showing the following:

  • UK sports clubs lost as many as 60 percent of their members during COVID.5
  • 96 percent of all grassroots football clubs have seen a reduction in income during the pandemic due to lack of fundraising opportunities and loss of sponsorship.
  • 12 percent of the 43,000 football clubs in the UK, which comprise of over 100,000 teams6, fear closure is inevitable.7
  • The above equates to over 5,000 clubs closing their doors to budding young players forever.

The strain can also be felt across other sports:

  • It is estimated that 240,000 fewer children will be able to swim 25 metres by the end of this academic year as a result of suspended swimming lessons and leisure centre closures.8
  • It’s estimated that 73 percent of gymnastics clubs are at risk, with 55 percent facing permanent closure.9

In addition to sports clubs, the pandemic has also had a significant impact on other vital extra-curricular clubs:

  • The Scout Association claims that more than 500 Scout groups are at risk of closure due to fundraising challenges.
  • A third of music groups report that they are working with fewer children as a result of COVID-19.
  • Only a third of youth music clubs are able to operate fully with social distancing rules in place and many have been operating at a reduced capacity for over 16 months.10

Play Fund Win – The Fundraising Solution

Grassroots clubs and organisations offer a lifeline to young people across the UK. With the future of thousands of these essential organisations hanging in the balance, fundraising has never been so important. Our revolutionary new digital fundraising platform allows sports clubs, event organisers, and charities to fundraise simply and effectively by hosting online raffles. Unlike other fundraising schemes, all draws hosted through us will see a minimum of half of the profits go directly to clubs, whilst offering entrants the opportunity to win cash prizes and money-can’t-buy experiences.

We know just how important grassroots clubs and organisations are for maintaining young people’s mental and physical wellbeing. With so many clubs across the nation reaching crisis point, fundraising is vital in order to preserve these valued institutions and provide much needed resources and equipment, such as defibrillators.

Unfortunately, this desperate need for funds comes at a time when many families are still suffering from reduced income as a result of the pandemic, meaning that fundraising is harder than ever. That’s where Play Fund Win comes in. Designed to make fundraising cashless, simple and fun whilst offering the added incentive of the opportunity to win prizes, the platform offers a lifeline to the youth organisations that do so much for their local communities.

We have already helped grassroots clubs across the country to raise the funds they need to continue to offer services to children. The Rugby Football League (RFL), is just one of the major names on board with us already, with them hosting a nationwide Community Rugby League Raffle.

How can I raise funds for my sports club?

Sports clubs who wish to start raising funds through their own regular raffle draws should click here or share their details with us here so that we can reach out and get your fundraising journey with us underway!

Data sources

  1. Sport England, Active Children’s Lives Survey Academic Year 2019-2020 Report, 2020
  2. ISM, The Heart of the School is Missing, 2020
  3. Aspen Institute, Benefits of Progress, 2019
  4. The FA, The Social and Economic Value of Grassroots Football in England, 2021
  5. Sheffield Hallam University’s Sport Industry Research Group on behalf of the Sport and Recreation Alliance, 2021
  6. The Football Association, FA Strategy 2020-2024: Time for Change, 2020
  7. Utilita, The Final Whistle on Grassroots Football Report, 2021
  8. Swim England, The Impact of Coronavirus on School Swimming and Water Safety, 2021
  9. British Gymnastics Survey, 2021
  10. Youth Music, How COVID-19 has Affected Youth Music-Making, 2020

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