Sporting Equals partner with Comic Relief and NET to support BAME-led organisations worst hit by Covid-19

Many small projects working with diverse communities are facing risk of closure due to financial pressures following the pandemic. Sporting Equals want to support  the BAME third sector to ensure that there their sport and physical activity offer is able to survive during these challenging times. 

Recent worrying reports have highlighted the disproportionate health impact of Covid-19 on Black and Asian people across the UK Sporting Equals submitted a response to Government about the impact of COVID 19 on the BAME sport and physical activity sector. This response can be viewed here. Some key highlights are as follows:

The immediate impact of COVID-19 on the sports and physical activity sector has been drastic since the lockdown began on 24 March 2020. Following the Government announcement, all sports and leisure facilities providing indoor and outdoor play had to cease business and as a consequence the BAME sport and physical activity sector has been financially impacted, as have participation levels amongst the communities that they serve. 


Many organisations have had to cease operations entirely, and without viable funding streams we are concerned as to how the activity levels of their service users will be addressed once lockdown ceases. Many organisations will struggle to be in a financial position where they can continue providing sport and physical activity sessions. We are already providing advice and guidance to many of these organisations, pointing them to funding opportunities, supporting them to apply, helping them to re-structure their activities and several other support areas. However, these organisations are in desperate need of investment for both existing activity and for their new, innovative responses to COVID-19.  

Following the publication of Public Health England's COVID-19 Disparities report it was been confirmed that those from a BAME background are 10-50 per cent more likely to die from a Coronavirus related death than their white counterparts. Statistics for those from a Bangladeshi background are even more alarming, and these communities are twice as likely to die from COVID-19 than a white person. These are statistics, but the communities that our Associate Members serve have lived through this experience, with their service users being highly likely to have family members and friends that have died from the virus. Many of our organisations have reported that due to this, they are also finding themselves offering counselling services, mental health support or signposting to counselling services. This is because, as trusted members of the communities they serve, employees and volunteers for the BAME-led organisations are finding themselves positioned as places to go for help and not just as sports and physical activity providers.  

For information on how you can submit a proposal to access the small grants programme we are running please get in touch at info@sportingequals.org.uk

A member of the team will then get in touch regarding the next steps.