RYA supports Government’s #ReturnToPlay push as outdoor sports reopen in England

29 Mar 21
Young girl sailing dinghy

Some of the country’s biggest sports stars have joined up with the Government to urge the country to get out and get active as outdoor sports, clubs and facilities reopen from today.

In line with the government’s roadmap, sports facilities including sailing clubs, football and cricket pitches, tennis and basketball courts, outdoor swimming pools, and golf courses can now reopen safely, setting the nation on a path of improved physical and mental health.

From today, organised outdoor team sports can also resume meaning that sports competitions of all ages and skill levels can restart ahead of the Easter holiday break. 

It comes as the ‘stay at home’ message ends and ‘rule of six’ is reintroduced, which means that outdoor gatherings of either six people or two households are allowed. Social contact rules will not apply to outdoor, organised team sport.

Rob Clark, RYA Director of Sport Development, said: “The long wait is over. We’re delighted for all our sailing clubs and centres today as outdoor sports reopen and we can get back out on the water together. It is thanks to the support of our members and affiliates that we have been able to ensure that organised sport is once again one of the first things to reopen – with your strength in voice we are able to #ReturnToPlay.

“We have been so impressed by the resilience and adaptability of our clubs and centres over the past year. Now we must focus on making sure we do all we can so that everyone can enjoy the mental and physical health benefits of getting afloat.”

RYA Director of Racing and dual Olympic sailing silver medallist, Ian Walker, added: “Spring is always an exciting time for sailors looking forward to getting back afloat as the weather warms up, but this year there is more excitement than ever. I will be racing at my club at the first opportunity.”


Youth sport is a top priority in the Prime Minister's roadmap. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and Department for Education are now working with experts from the world of sport, education and business to look at how we can get children fit and fully active over the next few months, both at school and during the holidays.

The sport and leisure sector has benefited from more than £1.5 billion worth of business support made available by the Government, including a bespoke survival package for major spectator sports, the furlough scheme, business rates relief and business interruption loan scheme that has helped many sports clubs and leisure businesses to survive and be able to reopen when safe to do so. 

To help outline what the Government’s roadmap means for our sport we have developed our own roadmap for the return of recreational boating in England, setting out our current understanding of what each step means for our sport. 

The RYA promotes and protects, safe, successful and rewarding British boating. By joining today, you can support the RYA in protecting your boating rights and freedoms. Find out more by calling 023 8060 4159 or visit www.rya.org.uk.