BEST COVID 19 RESPONSE BY A SPORT
English Football League – Football’s Response to Covid-19
In March 2020 the global pandemic hit shutting down all aspects of society, including forcing football to stop en masse for the first time since the Second World War. During these unprecedented and challenging circumstances, all 72 EFL Clubs came together as a force for good, being among the first to respond to the needs of local communities across England and Wales. And despite having no income, EFL clubs adapted to help front line services, showing that football ‘never went away’ in the early months of lockdown.
Existing community programmes delivered by EFL Clubs and their CCOs were adapted to ensure the safe continuation of this good work which has provided a lifeline for so many in helping to keep people healthy, active and connected.
The support delivered by EFL Clubs has been pivotal in helping to address the serious issues facing communities as a consequence of COVID-19, including mental health, unemployment and food poverty.
The EFL’s community response to COVID-19 was rapid, vital and continues to make a huge impact on people’s lives.
ITTF Foundation – #TableTennisUnited
The ITTF Foundation initiated the #TableTennisUnited Fund to respond to the pressing issues caused by COVID-19. With the support of doners worldwide and the ITTF Group, the Fund offers financial help and equipment donation to organisations and individuals within the table tennis Community. The #TableTennisUnited Fund had supported 82 initiatives worldwide since its launch in June 2020 Some of the recent initiatives are:
• Croatia: The Fund has helped three of the most affected clubs to rebuild projects and supported the coaches in unprecedented times
• Uganda: The Fund has helped Mimi’s Tables, a local NGO to support underprivileged children and offer them the opportunity to develop their talent in sport to break the chains of poverty and crime • Argentina: The Fund made training possible again for the local seeding Paralympic athletes
Germany: The Fund has helped PingPingParkinson Germany in their quest to incorporate table tennis in the rehabilitation for patients and the well-being of their relatives
• Ghana: The Fund has helped national star player to empower local students and enlightened them on the need to make informed decisions
• Worldwide: The Fund has supported table tennis players in various levels to resume the training.
LTA – Covid-19 Response
The LTA’s response to Covid-19 pandemic covered three key areas: protect the tennis community from the impact of the pandemic, keep people active through during lockdown and once courts reopened, and support our elite players and provide opportunities for them to train and play.
Here’s what we did…
By the start of April 2020, we’d announced millions of pounds worth of emergency COVID-19 support packages to help protect the sport from the initial impact of the crisis. The comprehensive package made support available to tennis venues, coaches, officials, and players to the value of £20m.
We repurposed digital content from our LTA Youth programme to encourage families to remain active at home through the pandemic, and for children to learn through tennis, being one of the first sports to do this. We led the way for the sport sector in navigating government guidance and announcements, providing step by step detail for return to play alongside simplified grids that helped tennis participation increase across the whole of 2020 by 8% vs. 2019.
The National Tennis Centre hosted over 1,000 competitive matches in 2020 for 150 players, providing opportunities for players to compete and earn money while the international tours were suspended.
Motorsport UK – Supporting & Sustaining UK Motorsport through the Covid-19 Pandemic
Motorsport UK is the governing body for four-wheeled motorsport in the UK, representing competitors, volunteers, organising clubs and fans. We embrace a diverse community including over 700 motor clubs, 45,000 competition licence holders, 14,000 marshals and officials.
When the pandemic hit, Motorsport UK set out to financially protect motorsport clubs who are the backbone of the sport, shoulder the unknown and ready its community and restart the sport.
To safeguard the clubs, Motorsport UK deployed a £1Million fund to address the consequences of COVID-19, making sure clubs were in a position to welcome the resumption of the sport.
Motorsport UK also developed Restart Guidance and provided complimentary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) worth £100,000 to all volunteers in the first few months. Training webinars, were organised for 3,000 people, with over 480 questions asked – all answered live. Sentiment was gauged pre-and post-webinar and a significant 56% increase in confidence and a universal appetite for returning to motorsport events was evident.
Motorsport UK successfully built back better, with the community adhering to the guidance, supporting over 2,500 events, with most being oversubscribed within minutes of entries opening, as competitors and volunteers hurried to pledge their support to local events.
Premiership Rugby – Response to Lockdown
Premiership Rugby is an organisation which cares about the communities in which it operates. It believes that rugby has the power to change lives and has created, and delivers with its partner clubs, players, sponsors, and third sector partners, a range of community programmes which impact positively on society; improving sports participation, physical and mental health, educational attainment, employability and community cohesion.
With a focus on working with, engaging and inspiring people from diverse backgrounds, and with varying support needs, consistency of delivery and contact with participants is vital for successful outcomes. This consistency has been severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Premiership Rugby responded quickly, innovating and adapting its programmes to ensure continued support to young people and disadvantaged groups during the pandemic.
We are proud to have supported those in need, inspiring participants to help themselves and others, and instil in everyone a sense of community. #rugbychanginglives
Swim England – Response to the Pandemic
When swimming pools were forced to close due to the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020, Swim England was faced with a quandary it had never contemplated.
How would the national governing body achieve its vision of a nation swimming with no facilities?
How would it keep its 150,000 members at more than 1,000 affiliated clubs engaged in all aquatic sports when they had nowhere to train?
How would it help the 8,000 swimming teachers and coaches plus 2,500 providers of swimming lessons to support their athletes and those learning a vital life skill?
Swim England’s team of dedicated staff rose to the challenge by providing industry-leading written and visual content covering a range of engaging topics.
It provided the expertise and knowledge so pools could safely reopen and published detailed guidance for operators, swim schools and teachers so they could return to the water as soon as they were allowed.
And, importantly, it led the fight to get pools reopened.
After the Government didn’t include swimming pools in the first wave of businesses allowed to reopen, Swim England launched the #OpenOurPools campaign – which was backed by more than 55,000 signing a petition in the space of just seven days.
Table Tennis England – Ready to Return
Table Tennis England was determined to support the people and organisations involved in table tennis to ensure it comes through the pandemic in as strong a position as possible and developed our ‘Ready to Return’ campaign.
We created a dedicated section of Return to Play guidance on the website, as well as a Play at Home section, which included user generated content on ways to keep active in the home https://tabletennisengland.co.uk/our-sport/major-events/coronavirus-advice-and-guidance/.
We also created innovative solutions and offers to help keep people active and involved in the sport, including over 30 TT Kidz virtual after school club, over 60 webinars for clubs and coaches and Virtual England Youth Squad training sessions with 300+ sessions held for the England junior squads, covering; physical, mental, fitness and nutrition with many sessions being led by England stars and Olympians/Paralympians and over 60 webinars for clubs and coaches.
As well as supporting the sports existing participants, we used the power and inclusive nature of table tennis to send out over 4,000 play at home packs to those impacted most by the pandemic, including those socially isolated and those from lower socio-economic groups.
Volleyball World – Volleyball Nations League 2021
Volleyball World rallied to deliver the Volleyball Nations League 2021 (“VNL”) within a secure ‘bubble’ to ensure the health and safety of all participants and minimise exposure to Covid-19. A total of 1,347 participants (players, referees, officials, staff) were inside the ‘bubble’ and collectively underwent 10,170 Covid-19 tests over 6 weeks, with mandatory checks for everyone every four days.
Without the raucous fans able to join the players and teams at the VNL, Volleyball World set out to showcase all on- and off-court activities to the global audience through our full digital ecosystem across social, web, app and OTT. Set with the ambition to make the star studded matches available to the fans as much as possible, Volleyball World launched an updated website and app, as well as upgrading the online Volleyball World TV platform to broadcast all matches live, as well as include behind the scenes footage of teams at practice and their down time periods.
We set ourselves the challenge to acquire 50k subscribers to Volleyball World TV and delivered a 531% ROI of media investment vs subscription revenue, whilst tournament awareness and engagement levels were maximised through preparation and publication of 2,793 short form social content and 100 player interviews, fun challenges and documentary content garnering 73,533,032 aggregated engagements through total digital reach of 512,026,143.