The current health crisis resulting from COVID-19 has put most of the world's citizens at home, and many countries have been "closed for maintenance". This situation caused a series of uncertainties and, in addition to that, this crisis offered a time for reflection on what society we collectively want to build after this hiatus.
Sports, in its various dimensions - from sports practice to sports as a form of entertainment, and even as an economic activity -, cannot be removed from this question. There are several angles from which to gaze upon this issue (short, medium and long term) and, in all of them, there are particular aspects to be taken into account, both at national and European level, such as:
1. In the short term: relaunching sports in a shared and supportive way. Sports competitions represent about 2% of European GDP and almost 3% of jobs. In this sense, it is vital that this sector is seen as an element of the economic recovery that can benefit from all the support available to face this pandemic.
At a national level, prompt measures and benefits should be made available to sports actors in the context of coming up with a plan for relaunching sports within a long-term perspective (through taxation, for example). Support measures should converge around a solid framework and fluid communication between parties is necessary to account for the considerable actors' (sports associations, private companies, etc.) heterogeneity.
At a European level, it may be necessary to redirect some financial support, namely from European structural funds, towards actions aimed at promoting the well-being of citizens, through sports and physical exercise.
2. In the medium term: support sports during the deflation phase. Sports represents an essential tool for social cohesion, capable of facilitating new ways of living together and even accompanying the process of getting out of this crisis.
At the national level: it is necessary to adapt individual protection gear to the specificities of sports disciplines. In schools, it is necessary to promote an education and hygiene programme focused on appropriate safety measures, tailored to each age. In professional sports, coordination of competition schedules for all sports is paramount to avoid the concentration of people and activities around sports venues.
At a European level: encouraging good practices through the development of teaching tools, mobilizing sports and physical activity in schools. Create new financing opportunities and support technical and social innovations associated with physical activity and sports.
3. Last but not least, the long run: undoubtedly and above all, promote sports in society.
It is essential to encourage sports for all, namely for those who are most fragile; develop computer tools to help promote it (universities could be part of this process); adapt urban spaces to make cities, schools and companies active living environments in order to combat a sedentary lifestyle and the lack of physical exercise.
Re-launching sports at Move Sports
We, Move Sports, are in it for the short, medium and long term, continuing to promote sports in a society that needs to move - in more ways than one. Competition makes us better not only physically but mentally. That is why we're coming back from the great confinement stronger than ever, organising our events - tournaments, sports tours and training camps, and corporate events - to enhance and boost our collective well being.
Athletes' and staff health and well being are our top priority. That's why we've already established a cleanliness and hygiene protocol around all our activities, in line with Portuguese and international health authorities recommendations. Our sports tourism activities have since received the "Clean and Safe" stamp of approval from the Portuguese National Tourism Authority and the "Safe Travels" stamp of approval from the World Travel & Tourism Council.
Portugal is welcoming tourists once again. Enjoy one of the most beautiful, safe and friendly European capitals, Lisbon, and join our tournaments this coming October: register your team for Portugal Rugby Youth Festival, Lisbon Football Yout Cup or Portugal Legends Handball Cup.