Leading figures from across Scottish sport met virtually this morning (Tuesday 2nd March) to discuss the continued impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the role the sport sector will play in the nation’s long-term recovery from the pandemic.

Members of the Scottish Governing Bodies Chief Executive Officers Forum (including WWS COO Carole Cooney) were joined by Minister for Public Health and Sport, Mairi Gougeon, and Chief Executive of sportscotland, Stewart Harris.

The SGB CEO Forum represents 35 sports including waterskiing and wakeboarding. It was established to develop a greater collective approach across sports and to help shape a collaborative response to the pandemic.

Some of the challenges faced by Scottish sport, such as financial viability, access to facilities and SGB membership levels, were discussed at the meeting. The Forum expressed a firm commitment to using the power of sport and physical activity to assist in the recovery from COVID-19 and to help support the economy, health and wellbeing, education and social fabric of the nation.

Public Health and Sport Minister Mairi Gougeon said: “We know that being active is one of the best ways to improve or maintain our physical and mental wellbeing, and this has been particularly so during the pandemic. As we start to carefully ease lockdown restrictions while continuing to supress the virus, there is no doubt that sport will play a central role in Scotland’s recovery.

“Our continuing collaboration with the sector is vital as we work to tackle the issues facing sports clubs as a result of COVID-19. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our Sports Governing Bodies, who have worked tirelessly to ensure sport can continue to operate safely within the restrictions.”

Across the financial year, a total of £32.4million has been accelerated to local and national partners by sportscotland, helping protect up to 1,600 jobs across the sector, while delivery targets were also relaxed. The national agency has also created a £1.5million Scottish Governing Body (SGB) COVID-19 Recovery Support Fund, which is being delivered with National Lottery funding.