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Call to Action – sport for children

Dear supporters,

Thank you to all of you who took part in the ‘Calls To Action’ (CTA) over the weekend and earlier this week. We are making our voices heard.

We have another CTA for you. If, like we do, you feel strongly that sport is essential for children, please write to your MP to urge them to re-open grassroots sports clubs and extra-curricular activities.

Suggested text below.

Please feed back any responses to victoria@usforthem.co.uk.

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Subject: Sport for Children is Essential

Dear MP,

I write to you as a constituent, parent and member of campaign group UsforThem. Yet again, life for children is being severely disrupted. Whilst it is good to see that schools will remain open during the new national lockdown, the sports clubs and activities so many children enjoy taking part in are now closing for a second time.

The issue of grassroots children’s sport has been well publicised in the national media but disappointingly it has now been confirmed that no exemption will be granted. This despite the clear and pressing need for children to remain active for both their physical and mental health during what is an uncertain and worrying period of their lives.

My own children take part in important local grassroots sports. The opportunities provided by our local sports clubs provides developmental, social and health benefits which are an important aspect of their lives. Childhood obesity is a significant issue and there is no way we should be discouraging children from physical activity.

Organised sporting activities which have been shown to be Covid-secure should be prioritised for reopening. However, there is no confirmation that sports will be allowed to resume on December 2nd when this lockdown is due to end. I would ask for reassurance that MPs fully intend to allow children to return to their sporting hobbies in December.

Furthermore, whilst it has been confirmed that school sport should continue, the reality is that the provision of sport in schools has not returned to normal since the start of the new school year. PE lessons have been curtailed, team sports stopped and after school sports clubs only allowed in bubbles with limited provision being provided in many schools.

Many schools have now decided to cancel their after school sports provision for however long the new lockdown lasts. This is counter to the guidance from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and there appears to be no reason why school sport should be affected. I believe this is a matter of urgency which requires clear communication and guidance from both the Department of Education and the Department of Culture. If grassroots sports have to be put on hold, the provision of school sport becomes even more essential.

With the potential for restrictions to be in place for a significant period of time, it is essential that our elected MPs in the House of Commons continue to ensure the restrictions placed on aspects of life such as children’s grassroot sports are measured, proportionate and will not become a catalyst for short and long term health and developmental issues for our children.

I am calling on you as my elected representative to lobby the government to exclude grassroots sports from these restrictions and also to advocate for an exit strategy from these measures so that children’s sport and other extra-curricular activities can resume.

Yours sincerely,

[Name and address]