June 23, 2020

Statement on indoor leisure and sport facilities remaining closed

Like most sports, Archery has suffered in the last few months. Our members have followed the rules, our clubs remained closed during lockdown and even now with restrictions relaxed, many of our clubs are still unable to open. As a sport we rely on indoor as well as outdoor venues.

Today is Olympic Day. A day to celebrate the power of sport and the benefits of being active and a day for the government to announce the re-opening of - amongst other things - pubs and fast-food outlets. And worse, there is no timeline in place for when indoor sporting venues may re-open, other than a tweet from the Culture Minister.

Our sport and many other sports are at risk. In the midst of a public health crisis, we are dismayed at the current situation. If there is scientific proof that opening sporting venues holds more risk than opening the leisure sector we call upon the government to publish it. If that scientific proof does not exist, we request to be treated the same. Archery is a sport that has huge benefits for mental health and is one of the most accessible sports for people of all ages, abilities and disabilities.

As a sport we have worked incredibly hard to protect our membership. We closed down the sport early and have developed detailed guidelines for those able to return, socially distanced, in the last few weeks and communicated all the public health messages to our members. In short, we have followed and supported government guidance to the letter. Now we ask for that support to be reciprocated - and quickly. We would like government to clarify urgently the full timeline for the reopening of indoor venues.

The full statement from Sport England can be read here.

The full statement from the Sport and Recreation Alliance can be read here.

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