THE Welsh Government has received six recommendations to help Welsh sport recover from the devastating impact of the cornavirus and ongoing lockdown.

The Welsh Goverment’s Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee met with leading sports administrators in May when the affects of the coronavirus were revealed.

During the meeting the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) described the impact of the virus and lockdown as “catastrophic” while Sport Wales revealed more than £8.5 million had been repurposed to help clubs survive.

Sport Wales also warned of a future funding crisis for leisure trusts across Wales.

A statement from Community Leisure UK said:‘Some of these repurposed leisure centres have already been told they will not return to their original purpose before the end of this calendar year.

“This significantly limits organisation’s possibilities to operate and generate income, as in some cases the repurposed sites account for 40 per cent of the usual income.”

Meanwhile both football and rugby union face a grim future at community level with a warning many clubs would not survive this crisis while women’s football faces even greater problems.

People are also doing less physical activities.

Sport Wales warned that while 39 per cent of people from higher socio-economic backgrounds are doing more activities the lockdown had led to people from disadvantaged areas doing less.

Sport Wales said that it is essential that the impact of a decrease in physical activity among children is tackled as part of the new curriculum and return to a school environment

Meanwhile Sport Wales explained that several groups have been established across the sector to look at the return to sport, ‘split into, effectively, indoor sports, outdoor sports, facilities, and elite and professional.’

It warned: “In terms of the level of return, sport is going to be different to the norm for the short term.”

Football Association of Wales (FAW) chief executive Jonathan Ford called for “joined up thinking” and highlighted the inconsistencies across the United Kingdom where sport had returned in some regions while Wales remained in stricter lockdown.

Mr Ford added: “In terms of a return to spectators being present at sporting events, the FAW wants a definition of ‘a large crowd’ as 500 people in a 2,500- seat capacity stadium with social distancing measures could be and should be permitted.”

The FAW hoped to work with the Welsh Government to ensure that a ‘one-brush approach’ to large gatherings is not adopted.

Community Leisure UK (Wales) also said that there is a role for the Welsh Government to support public leisure and sport operators “in addressing the public perception of safety and managing expectations of how services and facilities will be different upon reopening.”

A number of recommendations will now be delivered to the Welsh Government.

Among them are calls for the Welsh Government to lobby Westminster to ensure self employed people in the sport and physical activity sector do not “fall through the gaps” in job support.

The report also concluded the Welsh Government should work with local authorities to consider the support available for leisure trusts and be prepared to extend the necessary public support to ensure the survival of leisure trusts and community clubs.

It was also decided to call on the Welsh Government to plan and financial support for the sector to tackle the widening gap in physical inactivity within and between demographic groups and lead conversations with representatives from the health and sport sectors to set a long-term, joined up policy direction for physical activity and public health.

The report also decided to ask the Welsh Government to engage with its UK counterparts to devise a “joined up approach to the return of sport.”

Finally the Welsh Government will be asked not to maintain a “broad brush approach” to mass gatherings and collaborate with sporting bodies as soon as possible.