Local Member of the Welsh Parliament, Laura Anne Jones MS, has called on the Welsh government to prioritise the return of sporting activities and physical exercise to benefit people’s mental health in Wales.
Speaking in the Welsh Parliament, Laura Anne Jones said:
The benefits of sport and physical activity to mental health are well known and will play a pivotal role in the recovery stage of this pandemic.
On 1 February, the Mental Health Minister said fitness facilities and swimming pools were crucial for the nation's health.
So, we can understand the surprise and anger of our physical activity operators across Wales at the decision to push back the reopening of gyms just weeks after the Minister promised that health clubs and leisure centres would be amongst the first businesses to reopen.
The First Minister said he will revise the decision on 22 April, which is welcome, but more certainty is needed for these businesses to prepare for reopening so they are COVID-safe, as well as preparing grounds and facilities.
The same is true of outdoor organised sport.
We must know when exactly the Government plans to bring back and reopen all things that will enable children and adults to play sport and take part in physical exercise, recognising that children’s outdoor organised sport will open soon, but what about adult outdoor organised sport?
Our football and rugby clubs need time to prepare their grounds and fixtures.
The Welsh Government must provide a road map for clubs and businesses to follow as a matter of urgency.