By Michell Svesve
Just like any other political, economic and social aspect of life that governs how we as humans live and coexist with each other, sport has been heavily affected by the onset of the pandemic. This in itself has caused a significant change in the way sports are to be conducted in the future be it at national or international level; all the big players in the sporting industry have had to take action and adapt, revisit the way sports had been carried out over the past. The prestigious and much anticipated Olympic and Paralympic games of 2020 have been postponed for the first time in decades to 2021.
The fans are very, very important in the team’s success. Instead of acting up, you’re cheering for the team. -Mike Holmgren
What’s a game without fans to cheer you on? Players feed off of the chants and the pounding drums that echo in the stadium’s atmosphere. Home advantage used to be a key player in determining the flow of the game, definitely players found a boost in morale by playing on their home soil and being supported and cheered on by their own. So what now, that they have to adapt and work in a close to silent environment?
Not only does sport contribute immensely to the success of any nation’s economy, as a multi-billion dollar industry, sport brings the masses together. Once in the game, there are no differences, rather the color of your jersey denotes which team you are playing for and it’s the only thing that sets you apart. Sport brings people from all backgrounds together and it contributes to the peaceful coexistence amongst all humans.
The Major League games, are set to come back on screen soon, precautionary measures have been put in place to safeguard the health and welfare of all stakeholders involved. These include:
- all games are to be played behind closed doors, with no fans in attendance. Do not despair, most of the shareholders in these games have agreed to have all the games broadcasting live on various platforms.
- sticking to the fist bump or elbow bump instead of the customary post-game handshake.
- media personnel are to be limited or barred from getting close to the players, either in their locker rooms or on the field.
- players are to get tested for Corona virus after every two weeks to ensure that none of the team members have contracted the virus.
- proper hand washing and sanitizing equipment be readily available for players and all the other stakeholders present during games.
Efforts have been put forward to get the games back on course however, there is still a bit of uncertainty on whether the level of participation and skill will remain the same. Players still need to go through rigorous testing , train from home rather than their usual training camps there might be a long way to go before everything gets back to normal.
However, do not despair, in the midst of all the uncertainty and anxiety New Zealand managed to bring back a whiff of hope to all the sports lovers out there. With their first open-door rugby game with over 20 000 spectators. It was a bold move and a much needed escape from the sadness that Coronavirus brought with it. Fingers crossed, this is the beginning of the ‘going back to normal wave.’
Roscher, Liz. “New Zealand Welcomes Fans at Stadiums after Last COVID-19 Patient Recovers.” Yahoo! Sports, Yahoo!, 14 June 2020, 4:45 pm, sports.yahoo.com/new-zealand-welcomes-fans-at-stadiums-after-last-covid-19-patient-recovers-144526584.html.
Lazzeretti, Craig. “Athlete Activists Who Changed the World.” Stadium Talk, 12 Oct. 2012, www.stadiumtalk.com/s/most-influential-athlete-activists-changed-society-cfd0aedd8cf9428f.
“The Impact of COVID-19 on Sport, Physical Activity and Well-Being and Its Effects on Social Development | DISD.” United Nations, United Nations, 15 May 2020, www.un.org/development/desa/dspd/2020/05/covid-19-sport/.