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Return to play

Advice and support for those delivering sports and physical activity

As lockdown restrictions lift, the information and advice is changing. This page is designed to support and signpost organisations to the most up to date information.

This is covered in three pages:

  • Stay Active for individuals: 
  • Return to Play (this page) for clubs and organisations delivering physical activity
  • Sector Support advice for organisations, clubs and individuals.

What do you need? Tell us your concerns about return to play so that we can tailor our support to the needs of clubs and organisations across South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire.


National guidance

There’s a lot for sport and physical activity providers to consider as lockdown restrictions evolve including.

Sport England information

  • Read the latest updates on Sport England’s Return to Play pages
  • If you’re running a Sport England-funded programme then the key message is that there’s going to be flexibility around delivery plans and targets. They’re also open to listening to suggestions to use previously agreed funds in new ways that will help you meet objectives, even if that means a re-think about how you do that to meet the needs of our now fast-changing world. Find out more.

June update on their “Return to play”: included:

  • inclusion and accessibility guidance – helping you to understand who can get active, how you can engage specific audiences and how to ensure your facilities are, and remain, accessible to all when allowed to reopen.
  • support for the professional workforce – including advice on staffing considerations for paid works as well as support available.
  • volunteering guidance – setting out some of the main considerations to help your volunteers return safely, well-informed and prepared.
  • managing liability and risk guidance – to give providers, be they clubs, governing bodies, community groups or regional associations, advice on what issues need considering and how they might tackle them in order to safely return to play.

Leisure facility updates

As facilities open up, local authorities are giving updates of what is open and the precautions we all need to take to return to play safely

South Yorkshire


West Yorkshire


Facility access

We appreciate that it is difficult to access indoor facilities at the moment. For those that can access facilities now or clubs that want to be prepared to when they are allowed back. When planning your return to indoor facilities think about:

  • Your own club COVID-19 risk assessment
  • NGB guidance
  • How you will adapt your risk assessments to fit the facility procedures
  • Equipment – particularly if you use any supplied by the facility
  • PPE

ReActivate (mentioned below) covers training and information on using facilities and keeping them and you COVID-19 safe.

Other support for clubs

  • COVID-19 Officer Support. Your National Governing Body may have information on their website regarding the role of a COVID officer and what they need to do. Here is guidance to help with establishing a COVID-19 Officer and the role they should undertake.
  • If club officials have a little more time than usual at the moment, here are some online learning platforms about how they can further develop your club beyond the Covid-19 lockdown.
  • Our activity finder now shows virtual activities, and it’s free to use. Here are the virtual activities already listed, and here’s how to get started. We are part of the Open Data initiative and so activities will be able to be seen in national platforms like This Girl Can and Change4life.
  • Sport England’s Join the Movement campaign is designed to provide inspiration and trusted information to the public about how to get active in and around the home during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Club officials can complete the Club Matters improvement tool  for helpful advice on areas where you can enhance your club.
  • Club officials could learn from coaching peers, or pass on some knowledge with the Curious Coaches Club.
  • We’ve worked with North Yorkshire Sport and Active Humber to launch the Yorkshire and Humber Learning Community.
  • Duty to Care Toolkit, (available from July 27) UKCoaching.org, is set across five areas, known as pillars – Diversity, Inclusion, Mental Health, Safeguarding and Well-being – the Toolkit will challenge coaches to demonstrate their knowledge around the principles of duty to care. Coaches will be sign-posted to a comprehensive suite of learning resources designed to help them deliver and adapt sessions safely, create diverse and inclusive environments and look after the mental health and well-being of both themselves and their participants.

Club Matters support

The Club Matters website was updated in June with ‘Return to play’ guidance, including:

    • reopening toolkit – this includes information on how your club/organisation can plan its return to sport, with advice on what you need to think about across different areas such as reopening your facility and protecting your people. Including a Reopening toolkit template
    • risk register template – this template, with a dedicated user guide, is designed to help your club/organisation introduce or update your practices regarding how you manage risks.
    • creating a risk assessment – this draws from the current Health and Safety Executive advice and provides step-by-step guidance to help organisations address risk, including coronavirus-specific considerations.
    • Understanding your people – How you can gather the views of their people on how coronavirus might have impacted their ability/willingness to return to sport and top tips for how organisations can use that insight.
    • social distancing guidance – this resource covers the different practices and considerations your club/organisation may need to introduce so that social distancing can be implemented in line with current government advice.


Club matters webinars are now available online and cover a range of subjects:

  • Introduction to legal structures
  • Developing a marketing strategy
  • Planning for your future
  • Participant experience
  • Volunteer experience
  • Leadership teams


ReActivate – https://cimspa-reactivate.uk/access-reactivate

A new, free, online training platform, designed to equip anyone working or volunteering in the sport, fitness, leisure and physical activity sector in England with the knowledge and skills they need to confidently return to work or restart their coaching activity, as we emerge from the coronavirus lockdown.

Training covers:

  • Risk assessment and management
  • Health and safety
  • Social distancing
  • Use of equipment and PPE
  • Cleaning and hygiene
  • First aid
  • Travel
  • Communicating with customers & participants
  • How to safely reopen your facility


UK Coaching / CPSU are now providing Online Classrooms for ‘Safeguarding and Protecting Children’ to enable coaches to access.

CPSU – Coronavirus (COVID-19) and safeguarding in sport – The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic presents new safeguarding challenges for all those working or volunteering with children. We will compile our latest information and resources for those in the sports sector here.

Safeguarding for virtual activities: Safeguarding guidance from the NSPCC is here and covers online safety, including some good practice where activities are being live-streamed. The NSPCC are working to further develop this guidance and the CPSU will be adapting this for the sports sector.

Mental wellbeing

  • Mind – Sector Support: As part of Mind’s sector support offer there is a brand new series of webinars to support the sport and physical activity sector to do more around mental health. The aim of the webinar series is to up-skill organisations so they are able to support people with mental health problems to get active.

    The webinars will cover a range of topics and will be delivered over the next 12 months. More information and webinar bookings can be found on the Eventbrite page, and will also be published on the website soon. In the meantime, you can access the first three webinars below.

    Mental health support for the sport and physical activity sector
    Weds 1 April 2020, 11:30am – 12:15pm
    Book your place

    Mental health training for the sport and physical activity sector
    Thurs 21 May 2020, 11:30am – 12:15pm
    Book your place

    Volunteering – insight from Get Set to Go and our Mental Health Champions guide
    Tues 2 June 2020, 11:30am – 12:15pm
    Book your place

  • Mental Wellbeing support: This is a difficult time for everyone and it’s important to take time to look after yourself. Keeping up a physical activity habit yourself will help hugely, but these links may just be useful too.Mental health charity Mind has put together detailed advice and information on coronavirus and wellbeing. Practise relaxation and mindfulness to boost your mood. Try this mindful breathing exercise from Every Mind Matters, and read hints and tips on mindfulness from the NHS.
  • Every Mind Matters – Translations of the new Now more than ever mental health “10 top tips” Twitter and Facebook assets are now available in Polish, Russian, Punjabi, Urdu, Bengali, Gujarati, Romanian, Roma and Somali.

Keeping your loyal customer/ participant base moving when you’re not able to deliver sessions

We know that this is a worrying time for those who aren’t able to deliver their sessions face-to-face. For some physical activity and sport providers offering ‘virtual’ classes or workout programmes is one option you might like to explore.However, if this isn’t viable for you and you’d like to direct your existing customers base to alternative home-based or social-distancing-friendly activity options we’ve compiled a list here. This should help them keep up good habits, ready for when you’re able to start delivering face-to-face again.

Search here for online activities!

To publish your online activity:

  1. Log in or create an account here yorkshire.sportsuite.co.uk
  2. Add your activity,  yorkshire.sportsuite.co.uk/
     and select “Online” location



Yorkshire Sport Foundation are proud to support OpenActive.

We want to make it as easy to find and book a tennis court as it is to book a hotel room.

Making data about where and when activities happen openly available is one step towards improving digital services in the sector.

Our activity finder is provided through Sportsuite that both publishes to Openactive data standards and also shows results from other Openactive standard feeds.

Want to add an activity, promote a job, course or volunteer opportunity?

Sign and promote your opportunity on our national finder.

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