COVID-19: FSPA is lobbying on behalf of the sports industry

The Federation of Sports and Play Associations (FSPA) the umbrella body which supports the SPE, is surveying its members in the sporting goods and golf sectors to let them know what issues they would like them to lobby government on during the Covid-19 crisis.

“I would like to thank all our members for their responses to our survey,” says Jane Montgomery, the FSPA’s Head of General Affairs. “The situation is a developing one and some of the issues raised, such as staff retention, have now been addressed by government.

“However, two outstanding areas of concern were raised by several members and, as yet, have not been specifically dealt with by the government.”

Business Rates Holidays for Manufacturers and Distributors

“Business rates holidays have been introduced for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses for the 2020 to 2021 tax year,” says Jane. “However, despite many of our manufacturers and distributors being severely affected by the impact on the leisure industry in particular, so far no such relief has been provided to them.

“We are lobbying government for the same 12-month payment holiday to be extended to manufacturers and distributors. We will feed back news of progress to you as soon as we have it.

“In the meantime, if you have a direct retail division within your company contact your Local Authority to enquire if the 12-month payment holiday for the retail, hospitality and leisure businesses includes your Company.

Deferred Customs Duties and Import VAT

“Many of our members import and/or export goods and say that they would like a deferred payment period for Customs Duties and Import VAT in line with the current VAT deferral scheme provided by the government,” continues Jane.

“We are lobbying government for a deferral scheme for Customs Duties and Import VAT like the UK VAT deferral scheme already in place and again, we will feed back news of progress to you as soon as possible.”

For further support, information or to raise any issues of concern, please contact Jane Montgomery – jane@sportsandplay.com

A strong push for secondary PE funding

The Sports and Physical Education Association (SPE) has engaged with the Sports and Recreation Alliance (SRA) and The Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition (CYPMHC) to promote funding for PE in secondary schools.

A General Election Sport & Physical Activity Hustings, organised by the SRA and UK active, was held on the 3rd December 2019 with representatives from each of the three main parties attending. The SPE who also attended, shared their manifesto to restore PE in secondary schools with those at the event. The manifesto calls upon the government to extend the ‘sugar tax’ to include secondary schools, empower secondary school staff to be able to prioritise PE in their time tables and that a renewed emphasis on secondary PE is created and maintained. The full Manifesto can be viewed here.

All three speakers outlined the elements of their parties’ manifestos which related to sport and activity – it was highlighted that all were rather light on this issue. The speakers were questioned about the importance of school sports and PE as well as the lack of funding. Tom Watson, Labour, was in favour of a gambling levy and mentioned an investment into school training, ensuring schools have trained PE teachers / coaches to tackle inactivity issues. Lord Addington, Lib Dems, reiterated the urgent need for investment and that they want to relook at initiatives like schools’ sports partnerships, to encourage and train teachers and children for long term engagement. And Nick King, Conservatives, highlighted that the school sports premium has delivered results, that they must continue to develop and that they will continue to push for the target of one hour a day.

When questioned if their party would commit to the School Sports Premium after 2020, none were able to provide a figure or dates, but all committed to supporting the plan fully or partially.

Alongside attending the event, The SPE launched their manifesto to coincide with a highly successful social media campaign led by the National Children’s Bureau (NCB) and CYPMHC. The campaign, #ChildrenAtTheHeart, called on election candidates to put children at the front of their investment queue and was supported by large organisations such as Young Minds UK and Action for Children. The launch of the Manifesto was seen by over 500 people across Twitter and LinkedIn.

The partnerships with the SRA and CYPMHC have been very successful for the SPE and helps ensure PE is pushed up the political agenda going forward.

A manifesto to restore PE in secondary schools

The Sports and Physical Education Association (SPE) is launching its new election manifesto calling on the next government to make good the inequality in primary and secondary PE funding and provision.

SPE Chair Beth Tarry, says: “The general election on 12 December represents a chance to demand that the next government elevates the status of PE in secondary schools so that every young person in the UK has access to excellent sport and physical activity provision.”

The SPE are asking the next government to:

  1. Extend the ringfenced ‘sugar tax’ funding for sport in schools to include secondary schools as well as primary to ensure that all children aged 11-18 have access to the appropriate level of quality physical education
  2. Raise the profile of PE in secondary schools such that it is as valued a discipline as any other school subject and ensuring adequate resources are in place to do so
  3. Implement the necessary processes to empower and enable secondary school staff to once again prioritise physical education in their timetables
  4. Ensure that this renewed emphasis on secondary PE is sustained by implementing regular audits on the national state of physical education in secondary schools

“Childhood inactivity is one of the chief causes of spiralling childhood obesity and poor mental health among teenagers,” says Beth. “We are witnessing a national crisis; the time teenagers spend playing sport and exercising at school is shrinking. The result is an entire generation of young people who are being denied the essential benefits to their wellbeing of sport, physical activity and exercise.”

Read the full manifesto here.

Please share this manifesto on your social media channels using #Election2019 and #ChildrenAtTheHeart. You can also download and print a copy to give to election candidates in your area.

SPE Member Profile: Sport, Play and Climbing the Walls

We recently had the pleasure of talking to Tom Bunner, Managing Director of Eveque, the educational sports equipment manufacturer and program developer. They’ve been a bright light in educational sports equipment and services since 1980. Synonymous with high-quality mat manufacture, school sports development and, more recently, climbing wall matting. Tom was kind enough to answer some questions and give us a small insight into the world of Eveque.

Read the full interview here: Tom Bunner Interview

Tom Bunner, Managing Director of Eveque
Tom Bunner, Managing Director of Eveque
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A national trade body representing play, sports and golf associations, the FSPA serves over 500 manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors of sports and play equipment, clothing and apparel.