Impact of COVID-19 on community sport

Survey report: July 2020
Community participation Sport Sports participation Sporting clubs Australia

In May and June,  the Australian Sports Foundation carried out a survey to assess the impact of COVID-19 on community sport. It is estimated that over 16,000 of these local sports clubs are at risk of closure due to financial losses and new costs associated with COVID-19.

Key findings:

  • 93% of all clubs surveyed have lost money since the onset of COVID-19caused by a steep decline in revenues and the need to pay ongoing costs;
  • Up to 80% of clubs forecast ongoing reductions in core revenue streams (such as memberships, local sponsorships and community fundraising), while 97% of all clubs surveyed face additional COVID-19 related costs;
  • These new financial realities threaten the sustainability of community sports clubs. Around one in four respondents cited organisational solvency as a major concern - meaning over 16,000 community sports clubs are at risk of closure if financial support is not provided;
  • COVID-19 has also significantly impacted Australia’s 3 million sporting volunteers, with up to 43% of sports clubs projecting a decline in volunteering, contributing further to fears about the sustainability of many local community sports clubs.
  • In aggregate the support needed is in the region of $1.2bn across Australia’s 70,000 community sports clubs.

The report covers the financial impacts on small, and large community clubs, club concerns, and issues clubs face when resuming activities.

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