Team sport in a COVID-19 world - a catastrophe-in-waiting, or a disguised opportunity to evolve and contribute further to population health?

Team sport has been widely hailed as a potential morale-booster for the wider society in the current COVID-19 climate (in both a spectating and participating capacity). However, team sport for most around the world is presently on hold. There is a tangible decrease in physical activity levels across the population, and experts predict a profound impact on both physical and mental health as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Team sports increase leisure-time physical activity, and also have psychosocial benefits. Some patients recovering from COVID-19 require significant rehabilitation, and sport is a great way to help the process. Whilst sporting governing bodies prepare guidelines and policies to comply with social distancing requirements and governmental guidelines, some may feel that such changes threaten the very existence of their sport. A worrying trend? At the grassroots level, participation rates of many traditional team sports have been consistently decreasing, especially over the last 5 years. This contrasts with some data suggesting that physical activity levels actually may be increasing overall across the general population, especially among women and the elderly. Are sports losing touch with the general population? Or are they turning to non-traditional sports and individual activities?
© Copyright 2020 British Journal of Sports Medicine. BMJ Publishing Group Ltd of the BMA. All rights reserved.

Subjects: sports medicine diagnostics team health development athlete elite sport
Notations: biological and medical sciences sport games
Tagging: Coronavirus
Published in: British Journal of Sports Medicine
Published: 2020
Volume: Blog
Issue: Posted on 14 Jun 2020
Document types: blog
Language: English
Level: intermediate