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COVID-19: Opinions on the risks associated with resuming sports, by NRS social grade

The 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), otherwise known as COVID-19, is an infectious disease first identified in the city of Wuhan, capital of Hubei province in China. Infections have since been reported worldwide resulting in an unprecedented international response that amongst other containment measures, lead to the widespread suspension of many sporting fixtures worldwide. During a representative survey of the British adult population, undertaken between the 3rd and 4th June 2020, respondents were asked their opinion on the level of risk presented to professional athletes taking part in these competitions that have resumed.

The responses to this survey have subsequently been categorized into into two groups characterized by the NRS social grades of the respondents. The NRS social grades are a system of demographic classification used in the United Kingdom. The grades are grouped here into ABC1 and C2DE; these are taken to equate to middle class and working class, respectively.

The greatest share from each category of respondents held the opinion resuming sporting fixtures would present the same level of risk to professional athletes taking part in these competitions. The share of respondents that held the opinion that resuming sporting fixtures would present a higher amount of risk to athletes was also quite substantial with 35 percent of ABC1 respondents and 32 percent of C2DE respondents indicating as such.

Distribution of opinions on the risk associated with resuming sporting fixtures suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic as of June 2020 in Great Britain, by NRS social grade

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Release date

June 2020


United Kingdom (Great Britain)

Survey time period

3-4 June 2020

Number of respondents

2,067 respondents

Age group

18 years and older

Method of interview

Online panel

Supplementary notes

Survey questions: English Premier League football is set to resume on June 17th after being put on hold due to the Coronavirus.

Please imagine that all sporting competitions have resumed in the UK...Do you think that Coronavirus would present a higher or lower risk to professional athletes taking part in these competitions, or do you think it would present the same amount of risk?

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