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‘protect indoor sport’ or lose a generation of players

Netball, badminton, basketball, volleyball and table tennis governing bodies call for support

Grassroots sport in the UK is facing a major crisis with netball, badminton and basketball among the activities fearing for their future.

Sports that are played indoors are “still in limbo” as facilities remain closed due to the coronavirus restrictions, The Guardian reports. Governing bodies warn there’s a possibility the sports could collapse and have called on the UK government to provide support to help stay afloat.

Netball was enjoying a resurgence, with increased participation numbers across the UK, but the damage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic could see “50% of the game” lost if indoor facilities don’t reopen.

Katy Ritchie, England Netball’s head of development, said: “Our participation levels were record breaking, we had 1.6m women and girls playing netball. Fast forward to after Covid-19 hits and now the sport is at risk in all areas.

“We could lose 50% of the game if we don’t reopen. There will be significant ramifications for netball but, also, we’re such a key player in participation it will have a broader impact too.

“One of the things we’re really passionate about is body confidence in teenage girls and we know that girls don’t like to play outside where they can be seen.

“For Muslim women, their faith doesn’t allow them to work out where they can be seen by men so unless we get some indoor facilities open, these women won’t resume any form of activity.”

‘Protect indoor sport’

Badminton England chief executive…

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