New report shows covid could be final whistle for sport development sector

Covid-19 News | Midlands | Reports | Sport

The findings from a recent study by Oaks Consultancy has revealed that the pandemic has left more than a fifth of those in the Sport for Development sector fearing for their future.

The latest study by Oaks Consultancy – whose headquarters are in Birmingham, the city that will play host to next year’s Commonwealth Games – has been completed in partnership with Laureus Sport for Good, The International Platform on Sport and Development, and streetfootballworld.

The Midlands-based firm surveyed over 100 organisations worldwide – from grassroots community projects to large and established names – to inform its full State of the Sector report.

Diving headfirst into the effect that the global pandemic had had on the industry, the research focuses primarily on the impact on income, fundraising, and contingency planning across the sector.

The collated findings from September to November last year show that regardless of size, sport, outcome, themes or fundraising mix, the trend is the same across the board; income levels are falling at a precipitous rate for the Sport for Development sector.

Stand-out statistics show that 60% of those surveyed were forecasting a reduction in income for the financial year, with 46% of these predicting this drop continuing for the next year too.

Luke Southall, Managing Director at Oaks Consultancy, comments: “This has unquestionably been one of the most testing, uncertain and turbulent periods in the history of the Sport for Development sector.

“Alongside the rest of the third sector, the pandemic has presented profound challenges to Sport for Development organisations across the world, with both the reduction in funding streams access and coronavirus restrictions causing play to stop. There is no doubt that the last 12 months have had an unprecedented effect which will be long felt by the sector; but what is most worrying for us is that these challenges show no imminent sign of abating.”

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