#Sport4Recovery, a global campaign to encourage and support policymakers to safely re-open organised sport, was launched on Thursday 18th June by a group of governing bodies and other stakeholders from across different sports. In addition to communicating with policymakers, the campaign aims to work with the scientific community to highlight the importance of sport for mental and physical health recovery as well as to mobilise athletes and sports fans.
Sarah Lewis, Secretary General of the International Ski Federation (FIS) and the Association of the International Olympic Winter Sports Federations (AIOWF) said: "We believe that sport can serve as a role model for other sectors of society in demonstrating and promoting the organisation of safe and controlled activities and we welcome sports organisations and stakeholders involved in sport around the world to join #Sport4Recovery. After all, organised sport is already staged according to controlled procedures and comprehensive health and safety protocols to ensure the wellbeing of all involved."
“With the cessation of organised sport comes tremendous uncertainty presently for our sector, including the grassroots and youth development level, which has been shaped and grown over decades and provides a key societal function as well as an important economic impact contribution globally, nationally and in local communities," said Patrick Comninos, CEO of the Basketball Champions League.
Therefore, we the undersigned, reach out to governments and offer our support to:
- Recognise the importance of organised sport given its societal, physical and mental health benefits, especially as we emerge from months of lockdown that has restricted the ability of athletes to participate in their livelihoods and fans the opportunity to watch sport.
- Work with sports governing bodies and other stakeholders to develop and approve detailed protocols to enable the timely re-opening of venues, training and competition.
- Protect the sports sector from further massive economic and structural damage by actively supporting the development of a sustainable pathway to re-open when it is safe for everyone involved.
- Ease national and international travel and accommodation regulations for top athletes, teams and officials, in line with health and safety protocols.
- Consider the needs of each individual sport; support for women’s sports both at the grassroots and top level; and the importance of sport for the disabled.
And in line with the safety principles that are being established for other sectors:
- Enable spectators to attend live sporting events.
- Allow amateur sports clubs and facilities to open.
- Begin to ease national and international travel and accommodation regulations for spectators and fans.
“After months of lockdown, sport is the perfect outlet to help people recover,” said Roberto Re, Leadership and Mental Coach. “Be it watching sports or participating in physical activity, sport encourages physical and mental fulfilment. As countries across the world open up, it is imperative that we create an environment that provides reassurance, particularly for children, that fun and excitement is returning to life. We can and should provide a sense of normalcy after months of uncertainty and for many, boredom”.
“I am fully endorsing #Sport4Recovery and can’t wait to come together safely post-lockdown and for all of us to be at our very best - physically, mentally and emotionally. Opening up organised sports is just the boost we all need, not only athletes, but also fans and passionate about sports, that everyday practice their favourite sport,” commented Filippo Tortu, 100 metres Italian recordholder and finalist at 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha.
#Sport4Recovery is fully committed to working with governments and health authorities to ensure this is done safely - in accordance with the necessary measures such as testing for top athletes, social distancing, defined hygiene measures, as well as monitoring and tracking protocols sanctioned by government authorities.
The founding underwriters of the #Sport4Recovery manifesto are (in alphabetical order): Alliance of European Hockey Clubs (E.H.C.), Basketball Champions League, Basketball Champions League Americas, European Volleyball Federation (CEV), French Swimming Federation, International Basketball Federation (FIBA), International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), International Motorcycling Federation (FIM), International Ski Federation (FIS), Italian Athletics Federation (FIDAL), Italian Golf Federation (FIG), Italian Ice Sports Association (FISG), Infront, Le Five, Lega Serie A, MXGP, and Sporsora.
FIS member National Ski Associations, Organisers, Ski and Snowsports Industry, Partners are welcome to join #Sport4Recovery and share the message to encourage and support policymakers to safely re-open organised sport.
For more information, please visit www.sport4recovery.org