Culture secretary Oliver Dowden announces formation of task force to help the Premier League and other sports get up and running safely amid coronavirus crisis with former Lionesses star Alex Scott to serve on it
- Oliver Dowden announced the news during Downing Street press conference
- Both the sporting and cultural calendars have been decimated in recent times
- Alex Scott will be on the task force as they look to get sport up and running again
- Premier League clubs finally began group training sessions again from Tuesday
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has revealed he is ‘setting up a renewal task force’ as the Government look to get sporting and cultural events back underway again in a ‘crowd-free’ way.
The sporting calendar has been decimated recently due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic but it is slowly creeping back into business, with Premier League clubs beginning group sessions again on Tuesday.
And on Wednesday, Dowden confirmed he is looking at getting the Premier League and other sports up and running safely again – with the help of former England international and pundit Alex Scott.
Oliver Dowden set out details of the task force during the Downing Street press conference
Former Arsenal and Lionesses star Alex Scott will serve on the task force committee
Dowden set out details of the task force being set up to help the arts, sports and digital sectors respond to the crisis.
He told the Downing Street press conference: ‘Finding creative, crowd-free ways to navigate coronavirus is the biggest challenge for our recreation and leisure sectors right now.
‘So this week I am setting up a renewal task force which will help them bounce back. It will be made up of the brightest and the best from the creative, tech and sporting worlds.
‘They will be advising me on how we find new and different ways to get industries back up and running.’
The Premier League was stopped in its tracks at the beginning of March due to the pandemic
The task force will involve former Arsenal and England star Scott, former BBC and ITV chairman Lord Grade, English National Ballet artistic director Tamara Rojo and tech entrepreneur Baroness Lane-Fox.
Dowden added: ‘Normal life, as we have known it, is still clearly a long way off and the path to get there is a narrow one.
‘But these things will return, when it’s safe for them to do so, and thanks to the same drive and creativity that makes a great performance or a great piece of art.
‘I really think that when they do, and when we have overcome this crisis together, we will appreciate them that much more.’
Premier League clubs have slowly started to resume their duties ahead of a potential restart to the 2019-20 campaign, with sides returning to group training sessions from Tuesday.
Liverpool returned to group training on Wednesday as they look to wrap up the league title
Premier League shareholders voted unanimously on Monday in favour of a return to socially distanced training, with players allowed to work together in groups of five.
Chelsea were pictured training again on Tuesday in small groups, while Jurgen Klopp’s title leaders Liverpool were among the teams getting back together on Wednesday.
Furthermore, while players returned to their clubs for training, the first instalment of coronavirus testing was also carried out this week.
Out of 748 tests, six were positive from three clubs. Watford defender Adrian Mariappa was one of the positives, as was Burnley assistant manager Ian Woan.
Frank Lampard’s Chelsea side returned to their duties on Tuesday at the Cobham training base