A POWYS politician has warned the impact of lockdown on women’s sports.

Brecon and Radnorshire MP Fay Jones was speaking at a House of Commons debate when she warned lockdown would devastate women’s sport.

She said: “Coronavirus is threatening the momentum generated over the past decade for women’s sport.

“During the lockdown earlier this year 42 per cent of women, compared with 35 per cent of men, reported a drop in activity levels.

“As organised sport and exercise were put on hold for men and women alike, we saw the loss of events that showcase gender parity in sport, such as the Tokyo Olympics and The Hundred cricket competition.

“The visibility that these events provide for women’s elite sport is vital to making women’s sport a natural and accepted part of the sporting landscape.”

Jones expressed her concerns for rugby union in Wales.

She said: “Unfortunately, as sport returns, fans will not be returning. Admissions to matches provide a key funding source, particularly for rugby.

“At a grassroots level, clubs I have spoken to also have concerns about the finances of the women’s game.

“Some are worried that because women’s rugby does not receive the same financial support as the men’s game, they will struggle to restart training and matches.

“As we recover from COVID-19, we should be aiming to increase the participation of women and girls in sport, the accessibility of women’s sport and its visibility. At the least, we should not be prioritising men’s sport over women’s.”