London Sport CEO Tove Okunniwa welcomes the return of indoor sports as lockdown restrictions continue to ease

With ADULTS indoor sports approved for the first time in 2021, London Sport CEO Tove Okunniwa shares her thoughts on Step 3 of the government’s roadmap and its impact on physical activity and sport in London:

“It feels like an important day for the exercise and sports industry – the light at the end of the tunnel looks so much closer and much brighter.

Moving on to Step 3 of the government’s roadmap, organized indoor sports are now allowed for adults, which may include exercise classes subject to sport-specific guidance.

And while I hope the weather is good enough for us all to get active outside in the sun, the indoor facilities including changing rooms can now be opened as well, which is great news.

After more than a 12 month hiatus, we are still learning the impact Covid-19 has had on our efforts to make London the most active city in the world.

For example, Sport England’s Active Lives data two weeks ago showed us that more than a quarter of adults (26.6%) in the capital get less than 30 minutes of physical activity per week.

The investigation also confirmed the widespread belief that the pandemic has exacerbated inequalities across the capital – something we must and will address immediately.

We continue to use Sport England’s Inequality Fund to support the most vulnerable, including people with disabilities, people with long-term health problems and people from lower socio-economic groups.

We will be starting our third phase of this investment very soon.

We also saw the effects of Covid-19 on children and adolescents and the negative effects on their mental and physical wellbeing.

Last week during Mental Health Awareness Week we shed light on community organizations that we support and that do wonderful things for the mental health of young people through physical activity and exercise.

Despite the challenges of the past year, our work in support and collaboration with the sector and the launch of our LDN relocation strategy give me great hope for the future of physical activity in London.

We may not know exactly what this new world will be like, but we can have no doubt that London will thrive when people are active and, as a result, healthier physically, mentally and socially.

But we can’t do it alone.

I am therefore delighted that we are starting the second phase of We Are Not Spectators tomorrow to once again pay tribute to the incredible achievements of our city.

London Sport will highlight all those charities, organizations and volunteers who have come up with ideas, solutions and strategies to help the people who need them most in an extremely challenging year.

We would like to say thank you, but also continue to do the great job. It’s time for London to get started – get out there and move around. We’ll be here for London. We are not spectators. “

London Herald