COVID-19 has upended all aspects of life. The world of Sports has also received a serious jolt with the Corona Pandemic and it’s subsequent effects – lockdown, social distancing and isolation. The irony of the virus is while most of us miss sports as we stay at home to stay safe, all sporting events stand cancelled, not for now but for long after normalcy.
I will throw light on few essential elements –
➡️ Suspension of Sports
The Coronavirus has sent shock waves to the professional leagues, sport clubs, international, zonal and state level groups everywhere. They are suspending their activities to limit the spread of the virus. Even the Olympics has been pushed by a year, if so.
➡️Physical and Emotional Toll of the Sportspersons
The sportpersons have faced the pandemic like common man – at home. They are seen spending time with their families, pets and taking to social media to keep the otherwise disappointed fans and followers inspired. Their practice has halted limited to exercise at home. Some sportpersons outside India have encountered infection. Some had to undergo Quarantine after international travel. It’s physically non rewarding and emotionally taxing. Many sportpersons in India don’t have the luxury of plush home gyms or terraces for rigorous workout. Definitely, the virus has taken a toll of their tempo and vigour. It is only because of the ability of a sportperson to endure any challenge through discipline, perseverance and ability to accept fall, one can be a bit optimistic in these times. But there are all chances when they feel deviated and low. Infact, common man’s engagement with any kind of sports also stands close to nil.
➡️ Business of Sports hit
The business of sports is severely hit. The three major income streams for sports – Broadcasting (Sale of Media Rights) Commerical (Sponsorship and Advertising) and Match Day Revenue (Ticketing and Hospitality) are in doldrums because of cord cutting as media consumption moves online. It has plunged the business of sports into a long term financial crisis. The Governments are diverting most of it’s resources to combat COVID having no funds reserved to promote sports or their country or state through sports tourism.
➡️ E Sports – a reality
It underscores the need of exploring diverse income streams such as live payments for digital games, immersive technology to experience games live, e- sports and many more. It is still difficult to believe that how sports that can unite strangers and fans on a common footing will be viewed from television and comfort of home.
techniques of Individual games like Badminton, Tennis, Athletics can be practiced even now. The players of team games can practice their skills in isolation. Body contact games like Basketball and Football may be avoided in group but skills like Batting, Bowling in Cricket and Dribbling, Passing in Football can be practiced alone. Video clipping of past performances can be watched and after analysis, correction drills can be planned to get maximum results. Personal Gym can be used for maintaining the fitness level. The level of fitness can be monitored by using stopwatch and other scientific means in the absence of a trainer. Physical fitness should be given importance during workouts as it will take a long time to achieve it once gone.
➡️ Way ahead
In such tough times, the government, trainers and sports federation across the world have to stand by the sportpersons and extend a hand of solidarity to sail through even tougher times that sports fraternity has undergo. As ardent lovers of sports, or watching sports, we should also have patience and emotionally support our gods on field as this too shall definitely pass.