The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has today announced emergency funding for sports impacted by the absence of spectators because of coronavirus. The £300m Sports Winter Survival Package includes an award of up to £2m for badminton, not just to protect the governing body but that will provide the critical support needed across the sport in this country.
Adrian Christy, Chief Executive at Badminton England, said “This is a much-needed package of support for badminton, and I am extremely thankful to the Minister, and all colleagues in DCMS and Treasury, who have listened carefully, and patiently, to the financial challenges that the pandemic has caused to Badminton England, and badminton across the country, and for responding to our calls for help.
“Badminton England prides itself on being an extremely well-run organisation, who has always ensured it is financially stable to plan for, and deliver, growth and success at grass roots and elite performance level.
“But these extraordinary times have seriously threatened the existence of one of this country’s most participated sports. Our commercial programme has been developed to ensure we can be more self-reliant, however, since the start of the first lockdown, it has been hammered. Our income has been almost entirely turned off, and because Government measures do not allow for fans to enter arenas, the loss of income will continue well into next year as we plan to stage the YONEX All England Championships behind closed doors. So, we desperately needed help.
“We have made some very tough decisions in recent weeks, including placing 25% of our amazing staff at risk of redundancy. Of course, we need to understand the detail of the announcement, and we will absorb this over the coming days, but I very much hope that the award will protect some jobs.
“I am also extremely conscious that the wider badminton community has been significantly affected by the pandemic also and we very much expect this award to provide much needed support to the grass roots of badminton, to allow us to plan for even more people to play as soon as it’s safe to do so, and to also allow us to focus on the preparation of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games next summer.”
Badminton England understands that the awards will be managed by Sport England and we now look forward to working through the application process to ensure the funds are invested into badminton as soon as possible.