Friday, February 26, 2021

COVID-19: A New Reality for the Sports Sector


Impact of the Pandemic

COVID-19 pandemic is a global phenomenon still under study. The scourge, which originated in December 2019, in the Chinese city of Wuhan, has rapidly impacted, to a greater or lesser extent, all parts of the world. COVID-19 has affected and continues to affect all global areas and regions due to its highly infectious nature. In light of this, the governments of most countries have been forced to undertake restrictive measures and limitations, which are necessary to contain the virus that has changed the lives of many people, organisations, and institutions.

The sports sector, despite being an important sector in many respects, has not been exempt from these restrictions. Recall that in early 2020, all physical activity, face-to-face, and group sports were suddenly and indefinitely restricted in many countries, often being relegated to home-based physical training. As a result, sports clubs and organisations have had to reinvent themselves to offer quality service to their communities.

Study shows that major events involving large groups of people can contribute to the rapid spread of the disease, just as physical contact between athletes and physical proximity between fans can be a danger regarding the spread of the virus. Hence, governments have been forced to introduce and maintain social and mobility restrictions in an attempt to control the spread of the disease. In many countries, the sports sector has been forced to close facilities, ban travel, and cancel sporting events and leagues. In fact, it is expected that it will take some time before athletes return to training, competing and enjoying sport as they did before the emergence of COVID-19.

However, from a sports perspective, this change is even more devastating for most professional and nonprofessional sportsmen and women who compete in federated leagues or competitions. For all of these individuals, it has been very difficult to stop sporting activities indefinitely; therefore, sports clubs have had to reinvent themselves to be able to continue with sporting and social activities.

Adapting to the Crisis

In this process of adapting to change and managing the crisis, sports clubs and organizations must focus their efforts on maintaining the service quality that they offer to their communities. To this end, it is necessary to implement innovative and proactive actions to mitigate the challenges brought about by the pandemic.

Sports entrepreneurship, for example, is a vital part of an organisation’s performance, and can go a long way in ensuring its financial stability even in these trying times. Sports entrepreneurship is the capacity of an organisation to identify ideas and opportunities and to develop innovative and proactive solutions. Through sports ventures that encourage the exploration and exploitation of existing opportunities, sports clubs and organizations can reposition themselves for growth and be prepared for potential global challenges in the future.

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