A FULLER picture of the impact the England lockdown will have on recreational and grassroots sport is becoming clearer.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has resisted calls to keep golf courses and tennis courts open.

He set out the terms for a second national lockdown over the weekend amid fears that a second wave of coronavirus cases would otherwise overwhelm the NHS this winter.

Grassroots sport will be forced to stop during the initial month-long period which starts on Thursday

The Government will order all indoor and outdoor leisure and sports facilities including gyms, swimming pools, golf courses and driving ranges, climbing walls and climbing centres and archery and shooting ranges to close from Thursday.

The Prime Minister was asked in the House of Commons whether golf courses might be exempted from the rules, given the socially-distanced nature of the sport, by Conservative MP for Bracknell, James Sunderland.

He responded: “I must apologise to my honourable friend for not being able to offer the house a huge list of exemptions to the rules we’ve set out.

“Because once you unpick at one thing alas the effectiveness of the whole package is compromised. That’s why I want everyone to work together for the next four weeks to get the R rate under control so that we can open things up again in time for December.”

The chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committee, Julian Knight, had been among those calling for golf courses and tennis courts to be allowed to stay open.

Jane Nickerson, the chief executive of Swim England, said it was a “horrendous” situation and fears further facilities may never reopen.

“We’ve proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that indoor leisure and swimming pools have a very low transmission of this virus and are safe places for people to go and exercise,” she said.

“To just slam the door shut again now, my concern is that many pools won’t reopen and certainly I believe a lot won’t reopen now before Christmas. We’ve lost 200 swimming pools already following the first lockdown, I think an awful lot more can follow suit.

“We know that swimming is immensely valuable to the health of the nation. Our Value of Swimming report we launched last year showed that we save the NHS and social care system £357million a year on just six different conditions. And people who can’t exercise on land and can exercise in water, we’re just slamming the door on them.”