Press release -
London Sport CEO Tove Okunniwa welcomes return of indoor sport as lockdown restrictions ease further
With adults indoor sport permitted for the first time in 2021, London Sport CEO Tove Okunniwa shares her thoughts on the move into Step 3 of the government's roadmap and it's implications for physical activity and sport in London:
It feels like a momentous day for the physical activity and sport sector – the light at the end of the tunnel seems that much closer and significantly brighter.
And while I hope the weather will be good enough for us all to get out and get active in the sunshine, indoor facilities can now open, including changing rooms, which is excellent news.
After more than 12 months of disruption, we are still learning about the full impact that covid-19 has had on our efforts to make London the most active city in the world.
The Active Lives data from Sport England two weeks ago, for example, showed us that more than a quarter of adults (26.6%) in the capital are doing less than 30 minutes of physical activity a week.
The research also confirmed the widespread belief that inequalities across the capital have been further exacerbated by the pandemic – something we must and will tackle immediately.
We continue to use Sport England Tackling Inequalities funding to support those most affected including, people with disabilities, those with long-term health conditions and people in lower socio-economic groups.
We will be launching our third phase of this investment very soon.
We’ve also seen the effect that covid-19 has had on children and young people, and the detrimental impact on their mental and physical wellbeing.
Last week, during Mental Health Awareness Week, we shone a light on community organisations that we support who are doing wonderful things for young people’s mental health through physical activity and sport.
Despite the challenges of the past year, our work supporting and collaborating with the sector, and the launch of our LDN Moving strategy, gives me great hope for the future of physical activity in London.
We may not know exactly what this new world will look like, but we can be in no doubt that London prospers when people are active and more physically, mentally, and socially healthy as a result.
We cannot do it alone though.
Which is why I’m delighted that tomorrow we’ll launch the second phase of We Are Not Spectators to, once again, recognise the incredible achievements of our city.
London Sport will be shining a light on all those charities, organisations and volunteers who came up with ideas, solutions, and strategies to help the people that needed them most during an extremely challenging year.
We want to say thank you but also keep up the great work. It’s time for London to get going - to get out there and get moving. We will be here for London. We Are Not Spectators.
About London Sport
London Sport aims to make London the most physically active city in the world. Supported by the Mayor of London and Sport England, our target is to get Londoners more physically active.
For more information on London Sport, visit www.londonsport.org