At a time of stress and anxiety, many people find solace in exercise and physical activity. Whether it is participating or observing, sport is often a release from the daily grind and people’s everyday lives. But sport, like everything else is impacted by the global crisis within which we find ourselves. The sporting community has pulled together and we see key fitness influencers using their profile and platforms to try and keep the nation active.
For the foreseeable future, the abnormal will become normal. Being indoors for long periods of time will be foreign to most people but we will need to adapt and stand strong together as a community. Sporting bodies across the globe have reacted in unison with their decision to postpone or cancel events that would ordinarily be the highlight of people’s year.
What we have seen over the past week has proven that Covid-19 does not discriminate, all sports are equally impacted and will continue to be impacted in the coming weeks and months. In football, UEFA have announced that the Euro 2020 Championship has been postponed until 2021 to allow domestic football associations to at least attempt to finish their seasons during what would normally be their summer break. In other sport, The Grand National, the jewel in the crown of horse racing has been cancelled; the London Marathon has been postponed until October; the British Boxing Board of Control have cancelled all boxing events until the beginning of April; Formula One bosses have ruled that their next three races will be postponed; and rugby union associations from England to Australia have announced the suspension of all tournaments until further notice.
Such unprecedented times require unprecedented action. Out with periods of global military conflict, actions like the ones we have seen this week have never been necessary or contemplated. However, what is clear is that in times like these, is that the kindness and selflessness of human beings really shines through. Last week, in the UK, it was announced that all schools in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland were to close. For many, this decision will have done nothing other than exacerbate concerns that already existed – but for health and fitness influencer Joe Wicks, it is an opportunity to get kids active. He has announced that he will be live streaming PE classes across his social media channels for the duration of the school closures, an announcement that I’m sure will be welcomed by parents across the country who are now facing the unfamiliar reality of having their kids at home all day every day.
It is that ethos and that approach that will help us as a country and a community to get through the coming weeks. Yes, international and domestic sporting events have been cancelled across the board, but we can all do our bit to keep the nation healthy and active. Sport is about having fun and for many, the social benefits vastly outweigh the thrill and excitement of the competition itself or the desire to win.
As a sporting community, we will get through this. We must support one another, and we must be conscious of the impact this period could be having on our peers. So, take the time to check on those who may need a helping hand and remember to keep active in whatever way you can. It might just be a 15 minute workout that you see online, and afterwards you may not feel as accomplished as you would have if you had spent an hour in the gym but something is better than nothing. Believe me, when the time comes to get back to your usual fitness routine you will be grateful for the effort you have put in throughout this period.