One of the many cruelties of the pandemic has not just been the separation from friends and loved ones but the halting of things that give life colour like going to the pub, eating out and playing sport.
As we reach the next stage of the road map out of lockdown, we really hope we can now make up for lost time with a summer of sports. And what better way to kick off than with the FA trophy final? Following their incredible victory over Notts County, Hornchurch FC will be facing Hereford at Wembley Stadium on 22 May. My team and I have been working with the club’s supporters’ association over the past couple of weeks to get everyone involved in celebrating this fantastic local achievement!
Hornchurch FC share their training base with the Havering Athletics Club and I went down to Hornchurch Stadium in person to catch up with the dedicated volunteers who run the club. Havering AC were in touch with my constituency team during the pandemic, and it was fantastic to hear about their tremendous effort to make sure their training facilities were some of the first to open again. I learned about the club's long history, its strong family ethos, and the work they do with young athletes to develop their talents, as well as all they are doing to promote sport and exercise after lockdown.
With gyms and sports clubs back open, we want to get fans back in stadia and government has been piloting how to do that safely as well as extending the Sport Survival Package to help sporting clubs that are dependent on spectator income. With London planning to host some of the delayed Euro 2020 tournament, we hope a victory for Hornchurch’s Mighty Urchins will be boosted by a few England victories, some sunshine and the glory of an open pub garden!