Of the many areas of society that have been hit hard by the Covid-19 crisis, there are some that have struggled far more, especially when deemed non-essential. One of these in particular is the myriad of sports across the World.
The costs of running a team such as the Leicester Riders can be quite high, with staff to pay, rent for training areas and the arena, and branding/equipment costs to name but a few. So how are the team coping?
The Managing Director of the Leicester Riders, Russell Levenston is determined to get the team back in the arena. He said: “We’ve had very limited income since March—we have a huge amount of overheads. We have managed to get support via the furlough scheme which has helped our staff, but with that coming to an end now, and the season looking to start in October, we now need events to start again to help the Arena with their overheads.
“We also need the season to start up again, and for spectators to be allowed back into the indoor facilities. Without that, we will need government or council support, otherwise we will not survive.”
To continue providing services, or allowing customers and visitors to return to their premises, businesses and other organisations are having to implement strenuous measures to ensure everyone’s safety. This is no different for sporting venues. Russell said: “We’ve done a huge amount of work, with all of the risk assessments, the track and trace systems, we’ve installed a full digital system for whenever anyone scans into the building, allowing us to know what time they’re entering and what time they’re leaving. We have temperature checks on arrival, and everyone will have a full screening process. We believe we are ready to open but we’re just waiting for the OK from the government and the council, to say we’re good to go.”
The government has officially confirmed that sporting events will be allowed to go ahead from October 1st with spectators being able to attend. It is unclear whether or not this will be different for cities in lockdown, such as Leicester and those facing tougher restrictions in the North, but there is some optimism from Russell, and the Leicester Riders team.
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By Sam Ellison