(Reuters) – The UK government has announced a multi-million pound winter survival package for women’s sport which is set to boost the finances of netball, soccer, badminton and basketball.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) said netball will receive 4.2 million pounds ($5.89 million) which will help the Netball Superleague restart its 2021 season.
“It has provided vital security and protection for our clubs within the league who are currently without the usual income from ticket sales,” England Netball CEO Fran Connolly said in a statement.
Soccer’s Women’s Super League and the FA Women’s Championship will receive 2.25 million pounds while badminton and basketball are set to get four million pounds combined.
“This grant will help provide vital financial support to give the best possible opportunity to complete both the FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship campaigns,” FA director of the women’s professional game Kelly Simmons said.
Apart from financial assistance, the government is also providing 250,000 free COVID-19 testing kits so players and staff can be regularly tested.
“Starting during pre-season last summer, we have carried out COVID-19 testing for players and staff every week in the top two divisions to ensure they can take to the field safely,” Simmons added.
“With this grant from the Sport Winter Survival Package, we will be able to continue to do this right through to the end of the 2020-21 season.”
($1 = 0.7136 pounds)
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)