On Thursday, it was announced that horseracing would be one of the sports that would receive a part of the £300million fund that is being made available by the British government to support sports that have been affected by the pandemic. Horseracing, one of the sports worst hit by the pandemic, would receive £40million in loans.
Racing resumed in Britain on June 1, after months of inactivity due to lockdown, and since then, events have continued to hold without the presence of spectators, causing the sports to continue to lose money. There have been warnings that things could get worse if they continue to have events without fans present. The British Horseracing Authority sent a report to the government back in October to shed a light on the situations of things in the sport, giving an estimate of their loss at £70million.
The government, through the Department of Digital, Culture, Media, and Sports, released the loans as part of a Sports Winter Survival Package which is meant to provide for sports as they enter the winter period where they would be most affected as they continue to hold events without spectators present. Part of a statement by Oliver Dowden, minister of the DCMS, reads; “Sports clubs are the beating hearts of their communities and this £300million boost will help them survive this difficult winter period”
The BHA expressed their gratitude to loans which represents an effort by the government to keep sports going in such difficult times. Chief Executive of the BHA, Nick Rust, thanked the government on behalf of everyone at British Horseracing, saying, “We are grateful to DCMS and its ministers and officials who have come together with their colleagues at the Treasury to secure this assistance for horseracing. We also thank the many MPs who have supported the need to help the racing businesses in their constituencies.”
Other sports that would share part of the £300million include the Rugby Union, which gets £135million, the highest share, Football (£28m), tennis (£5m), and Netball (£4m).
Written by: Leon Osamor