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Key sports jobs saved from Covid

Sport | Published:

JOBS in rugby, cricket and football have been saved by a further cash injection from SIF, the Social Investment Fund Covid-19 Community Charity Appeal.

Steve Sharman, relationship director for the Guernsey Sports Commission. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 28529008)

SIF has provided key financial support to rugby, football and cricket; three of Guernsey’s biggest sports and those most affected by loss of revenue during lockdown and cuts to funding from their national governing bodies.

‘These organisations provide significant value to the Guernsey community and the support from SIF will ensure that this work can continue,’ said Steve Sharman, relationship director for the Guernsey Sports Commission, who liaised with the SIF on the issue.

‘We know that many sports have been affected in a range of ways throughout lockdown and beyond,’ added Sharman.

‘We had already successfully applied to SIF on their behalf and established a Sport Recovery Fund which we have used to provide grants to a large number of different sporting organisations to help safeguard their future and begin the process of rebuilding.

‘Rugby, cricket and football are in a more difficult situation as they operate on a range of levels, employ staff and have been hardest hit as they have lost out on revenue from their UK grants, big matches and visiting teams.’

The Guernsey FA is thought to face £75,000 of England FA cuts over the next three years, rugby £114k of travel grants withdrawn for the next year.

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In the case of football, said Sharman, that figure is someone’s employment over that three-year period.

‘The continuing restrictions on off-island travel will also have an effect on these team sports. This was why they needed to make more detailed applications for support from SIF.’

Sharman described the reduction in funding to football and rugby as ‘an unexpected hammer blow’.

‘Even allowing for redirecting funds from other initiatives, all three sports were facing the prospect of losing staff and inevitably having to reduce their community offering via their development officers. The support from SIF will ensure this valuable work in the community can continue.’

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Charles McHugh, chairman of Raiders, said it was very welcome support.

‘The funds we have been advanced by SIF will help lessen the impact of a very difficult situation which we face.

‘We welcome and thank the SIF for this help, as part of our own wider and bigger programme of seeking assistance and mitigation. We have been working on other initiatives together with our sponsors, bankers and supporters which are on-going work streams.

‘’The SIF were not able to do all that we had asked of them but we are pleased that that they have been able to help us lessen the financial impact of Covid-19 and to maintain our valued social and economic contributions within the islands.’

Jurat Stephen Jones is chair of the Social Investment Fund and was pleased to be able to announce this latest round of successful applications.

‘We hope that with the support provided these clubs can continue to have a far reach into the community,’ said Jurat Jones.

The funding provided through SIF has now helped support 30 different sports clubs and organisations, many of which provide training and activities for children and young people.

The Guernsey Sports Commission estimates that more than 60% of the island’s young people will have been positively impacted by the SIF grants and is extremely grateful for all their help and support over the past few months.

Rob Batiste

By Rob Batiste
Sports Editor

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