Grassroots clubs concerned about financial impact from national lockdown

Dan Henry, volunteer coach of the Costessey Sports Club U9 Eagles team with his sons Elliot, nine (l

Dan Henry, volunteer coach of the Costessey Sports Club U9 Eagles team with his sons Elliot, nine (left) and Dylan, 12. Picture: Dan Henry - Credit: Dan Henry

Grassroots clubs could be put into financial difficulty due to the second coronavirus national lockdown, a sports club boss has warned.

The Costessey Sports Club U9 Eagles team. Picture: Dan Henry

The Costessey Sports Club U9 Eagles team. Picture: Dan Henry - Credit: Dan Henry

All adult and children’s grassroots football is to be suspended in England during the national Covid-19 lockdown due to last from November 5-December 2.

Dan Henry, chairman of Costessey Sports Club, on the edge of Norwich, said: “We are worried about how the lockdown will affect us financially. That is our big concern.”

Stuart Burrell, chairman of Norwich Rugby Club. Picture: Norwich Rugby Club

Stuart Burrell, chairman of Norwich Rugby Club. Picture: Norwich Rugby Club - Credit: Norwich Rugby Club

This is due to the potential hiring of extra pitches next year due to the delayed season for all of its 28 teams and the extra money it has spent on hiring equipment and toilets to make matches Covid-19 secure.

It also lost out on £2,000 from its annual two-day summer tournament, which normally hosts teams from across the county but was cancelled this June because of the first lockdown.


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Mr Henry, 41, said: “Norfolk FA have implied that they hope to finish the season and the only way is to delay the season. The tournament is the only way we remain solvent.”

It started in September and was due to end in May.

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The chairman said club volunteers were expecting grassroots sports to be stopped during lockdown and added youngsters would be disappointed to not play with their friends.

But he added this lockdown was better than the first one because they could still attend school and play sport there.

MORE: How will a second lockdown impact grassroots sport?Stuart Burrell, chairman of Norwich Rugby Club on North Walsham Road, said he “reluctantly” saw the point of stopping grassroots sport during the lockdown but added: “Provisions for children should have been implemented as they are in school. Grassroots sport gives youngsters a purpose at the weekend. Not having that could be detrimental to their health and wellbeing.”

He said lockdown would affect the club financially.

A Norfolk FA spokesperson said: “We’re obviously disappointed to lose football once again however these are trying times and the safety and welfare of our participants and all involved in Norfolk Football is paramount. As such we hope everybody continues to stay safe and hopefully we can get back to playing the game we all love in four weeks’ time.”

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