AttoHamdy: The Sport Sector and Sustainability during Pandemic
AttoHamdy: The Sport Sector and Sustainability during Pandemic

Changing user demands and digital transformation continue to be challenging to most sport organizations around the world. In 2020, all organizations faced an unpredictable situation that has shaken the foundations of physical sports with the coronavirus outbreak.It soon became a global pandemic affecting all fields and not just sports.

The global pandemic still under study and is yet to be resolved or contained indefinitely. While the virus originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan, it rapidly reachedall parts of the world. This has causedall governments to take precautionary measures and limitations to restrict the virus.

Things like curfew, proper sanitization and eventually vaccines were created. It was now people’s job to do what is necessary to help stop the virus from spreading. This also meant to ‘work from home’.

Abdel rahman Hamdi, best known as AttoHamdy, is a decathlon national champion in track and field in Qatar. The star commented that “the contribution of sports is an empowerment to any individual; men and women equally, as itgoes beyond health, education, entertainment and social inclusion objectives. So, we have to figure a way out to keep sports alive.”

The sports sector, despite being an important sector at economic, sporting, and social levels have not been exempt from coronavirus restrictions. According to AttoHamdy, “the sports sector in Qatar has been especially influenced by the coronavirus crisis in a way that has never been seen before.”

AttoHamdy added that, “all physical activities, those that require face-to-face and otherwise, as well as individual and group sports, were suddenly and indefinitely restricted”. This of course had a direct impact on athletes, sports clubs, federations, and economy. As a result, sports organizations have had to find a way to re-invent themselves while still maintaining the quality and entertainment purposes of sports.

What are the effects of the pandemic on sport events?

AttoHamdy said that, “major events involving masses 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 sustainability and the spread of the virus.”

Hence, governments have been introducing and maintaining social mobility restrictions in an attempt to control the spread of the disease. The sports sector has been forced to close facilities, ban travel, and cancel sporting events and national leagues.In fact, it is expected that it will be some time before we return to training, competing, and enjoying the sport as we did before the pandemic.

However, from a sports perspective, this change is even more important for most professional and nonprofessional sportsmen and women who compete in federated leagues or tournaments. 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.

For this reason, AttoHamdyset-up a few recommendations which he believes could be effective during pandemic, and they include:

1. Sporting Federations and Organizations

Governments and intergovernmental organizations may provide sports federations, clubs, and organizations around the world with guidance related to safety, health, labor, and other international standards and protocols that would apply to future sports events and related safe working conditions. This would allow all stakeholders to work cooperatively as a team with the objective to address the current challenges and to facilitate future sports events that are safe and enjoyable for all.

2. Professional Sport Ecosystem

The sports ecosystem, comprising producers, broadcasters, fans, businesses, owners, and players among others, needs to find new and innovative solutions to mitigate the negative effects of COVID19 on the world of sport. This includes finding ways to engage with fans in order to ensure safe sports events in the future while maintaining the workforce, creating new operating models and venue strategies.

3. Promoting Positive Social Attitudes and Behavior

Sport education is a powerful means to foster physical fitness, mental well-being, as well as social attitudes and behavior while populations are locked down. International rights and values-based sport education instruments and tools, such as the International Charter of Physical Education, Physical Activity and Sport, the Quality Physical Edu­cation Policy package, and the Values Education through Sport toolkit remain highly relevant references to ensure that the many online physical activity modules that are being currently deployed comply with gender equality, non-discrimination, safety, and quality standards.

For more information, follow AttoHamdy on his social media platforms: LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram |Facebook

By Lubna Hassan Amin

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