Europe Active have released a new paper in the COVID-19 Information and Resources section of their website. It discusses the role, value and impact of a proactive and responsible health and fitness industry after the COVID-19 crisis. The report references DataHub’s Social Value Calculator and the role it can play in helping operators to demonstrate health, wellbeing, education and crime reduction outcomes. An extract of this report can be seen below.

Good practice: an example of how a solid evidence-based message can drive the recovery strategy of our sector influencing Government in a positive way…

A best-in-class UK example, the DataHub’s Social Value Calculator (SVC).

Using evidence-based academic research, undertaken by the Sports Industry Research Centre (Sheffield Hallam University) and funded by DCMS and Sport England, SVC gives leisure centres operators the ability to accurately measure and value the impacts of sports and physical activity they offer. Using the operator’s current data and sector-wide benchmarks, DataHub team gives insight to an operator’s savings in four key areas; Health care, Education, Wellbeing and Crime to deliver your value to the community.

The total social value of the sector in 2019, as calculated using the DataHub’s Social Value Calculator, was almost £4 billion, of which £370,000 was generated by those over the age of 70.

A recent report from ukactive about the impact of COVID-19, based on UK data (ukactive, 2020), identifies that the pandemic will have a huge impact on the ability of the sector to improve the health and wellbeing of the nation. Depending on the amount of time that COVID-19 restrictions are in place for, the projected reduction in social value generated by the sector is significant. Over £2 billion lost is estimated as a worst-case scenario, £289 million of which will be as a result of restrictions placed upon participants aged over 70.

Understanding the impact on society: In total, lost visits are projected to reach over 700 million in the full year following lockdown (week 12 2020 – week 11 2021). This is calculated based on a scenario without any restrictions in place. These lost visits will contribute to the deficit in social value generated by facilities across the sector. Under a full 6-month restriction length, the projected loss of social value would be £2.1 billion.

“The enormity of this figure serves to highlight the importance of the critical role that these facilities provide. This goes beyond the obvious physical and mental wellbeing effects of exercise to the individual; and extends to providing wider societal benefits through health care, education, wellbeing and crime cost savings to local communities” (ukactive, 2020).