A total of £5,000 has been granted to sport clubs across the north-east to help cover the costs of Covid safety measures.
The cash boost from Aberdeenshire Clubsport will help 42 clubs prepare for when current guidelines allow sport facilities to reopen.
The grants have been used for the purchase of all the necessary equipment to become Covid-19 compliant and secure the safety of the clubs’ members.
The charity, formerly operating as Aberdeenshire Sports Council, launched the discretionary fund to support clubs, which have been struggling to make ends meet throughout the pandemic.
Speaking to the P&J, the charity’s chairwoman, Jackie Smith, highlighted the importance of community sport in the recovery stage of the health crisis.
She said: “Sport and physical activity needs to have more of an agenda – for both physical and mental health – to help the population through the recovery phase.
“Community sport has always been the heart of these communities, so now it’s more important than ever to support it and keep it alive.
“The impact of Covid has been obviously huge – sport clubs have no revenue coming in, but are of course expected to spend extra on additional PPE measures, as well as to cut class sizes to maintain social distance even when they reopen.
“Being able to help our membership ride this storm is fantastic, but there is still a way to go for some of these clubs, with many potentially facing permanent closure.”
Aberdeenshire Clubsport is one of the largest sports councils in the country – representing nearly 300 member clubs and organisations.
Its annual awards event, which is usually held in March to celebrate the athletes, coaches and volunteers across the region, was recently cancelled due the pandemic.