The Sport Information Resource Centre
The Sport Information Resource Centre

CALGARY, Alberta – Sport Calgary today announced the results of a survey on the impact of COVID-19 on local sport organizations.

“The results of our Sport Calgary survey show that sport organizations in our city are facing a generational challenge in their response to COVID-19,” said Catriona Le May Doan, President & CEO Sport Calgary.

“The financial impact of missing sports, registrations, and tournaments will be enormous, and is becoming clearer every day. Our Sport Calgary members have told us they aren’t sure if families have the funds to participate in sport this year, or if they will feel safe putting their kids back in activities right away when restrictions are lifted.”

“We know from Sport Calgary’s independent research that the Gross Municipal Amateur Sport Product in Calgary is over $1.2 billion annually, and that amateur sport supports over 2% of Calgary’s employment. The shutdown of the sport sector will be felt across the city.”

“Sport has had to look at digital opportunities. Many of our member organizations are moving coaching and athlete training online, offering the sessions for free, although they recognize it is not sustainable in the long-term. They are learning quickly about new technologies and models. Even with Sport Calgary, we’ve started a new Original Six Feet Conversations podcast series to tell Calgary’s sport stories during a time we’re searching for positive stories.”

“The demand for financial support for people to get involved in sport when we emerge from the pandemic will be overwhelming, and charitable groups like KidSport Calgary will need the community’s support more than ever.”

“When we look at the most vulnerable – seniors, persons with physical/intellectual disabilities, low-income, and more – that is also an area the community needs to support. We need to be ready to support Calgarians and their families who experience financial hardship and strain. Sport will play an important part of bringing people back together, through the benefits of sport: social, emotional, and mental.”

“We need to be ready for this, and ensure supports are in place to ensure every Calgarian can continue to live healthy, active lifestyles. We’re a sport city at heart, and we’ll come through this crisis with a stronger sense of the importance of sport than ever before.”

Key Findings:

  • About half of all sport organizations feel they can only sustain operations for 6 months or less without further assistance.
  • Rent is the number one cost concern among sport organizations, as many feel their landlords are not in a financial position to help.
  • 97% of respondents have experienced a decrease in revenue from fees, and 74% in revenue from fundraising, grants, or sponsorship.
  • 55% of respondents have experienced a disruption from their suppliers.
  • 42% of sport organizations expect to feel the impact for up to 6 months, and another 28% expect the impact to last for at least a year. These numbers are equal or higher for multi-sport facilities that rely heavily on user revenues.
  • 55% of sport organizations have laid off or will lay off employees; 91% of multi-sport facilities have laid off or will lay off employees.
  • Many sport organizations are not eligible for the emergency economic measures put in place provincially or federally.
  • 77% of respondents indicated they had planned to run summer camps for youth.
  • 98 Sport Calgary member organizations submitted responses to this survey.

About Sport Calgary

Sport Calgary is a volunteer non-profit society, representing over 275 sport organizations in Calgary as a Civic Partner. As an advocate of sport, we strive to assist, support and influence the growth of sport in Calgary by:

  • Playing a lead role in the implementation of the Calgary Sport for Life Policy, and ensuring it continues to create a vision for sport in Calgary from introductory to high performance levels.
  • Continually identifying and assessing the needs of the sport community and facility stakeholders.
  • Encouraging development and enhancement of appropriate facilities and the efficient utilization of current facilities.
  • Fostering collaboration within the sport community and coordination of resources among stakeholders to develop and enhance facilities.
  • Increasing the profile of sport in Calgary, and advocating the values and benefits of sport.
  • Facilitating education and training opportunities for athletes, coaches, officials, administrators, parents and volunteers.
  • Acting as a resource for sport organizations.
  • Encouraging the hosting of sport events and sport tourism in Calgary.