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Almost one year on: Is there one good thing to come out of the pandemic?

Comment by ISCA President Mogens Kirkeby.


Some people say that crises can become opportunities – that they can spark transformation and renewal. Maybe we have seen evidence of this in the past, but I definitely prefer to take opportunities starting from better positions than the Covid-19 crisis.


One year with Covid-19 has affected our sector in many ways and my evaluation is that most of the effects are unfortunately severe negative effects. Maybe with one single positive light shining in the dark.


You may very well have experienced some of the consequences first-hand. And I believe that the list could be even longer than this:

  • A drop in sport participation and recreational physical activity
  • Severe problems for sport organisers and motivators = clubs
  • Physical activity and sport losing its position on personal and political agendas
  • Fear factor creeping into social activities
  • Less income leading to less community sport participation


Now, back to the search for the light in the dark and at least one good thing that could come out of the Covid-19 pandemic.


It became obvious for a large part of the population that health prevention is a personal/private matter and a responsibility. Despite the fact that, by far, the biggest focus has been on how to avoid getting the virus, in some countries – at least – part of the discussion has turned to physical vulnerability and how having a ‘fit’ immune system can be an advantage.


This being said, I think most people were left on their own to try to translate this idea into action – I did not see public authorities assisting much. It was not strongly communicated that physical activity is one of the most efficient and cheap ways to improve fitness and wellbeing, and can help strengthen the immune system.


So this could be our opportunity to raise awareness of physical activity as an immune system booster after Covid-19. The private sector and civil society organisations could communicate their offers with better reach by using this angle. And maybe creating a better understanding of and interest in utilising the positive effects of sport and recreational physical activity could be a shining light on the other side of the pandemic!


Watch the video: One good thing from Covid-19 for the sport participation sector?


Photo: Closed sports facilities during the pandemic. (Kristine Onarheim, ISCA)