Which Parts of Normal Should we not go back to?

Posted: Mon, 06 Apr 2020 13:37

Which Parts of Normal Should we not go back to?

It is right that most of the Sport and Physical Activity sector is working hard now in survival mode. But there will be a time in the near future when the country emerges from the Coronavirus and people will want to return to 'normal'

But in the post-Coronavirus world what should normal look like?

Whilst there is plenty of media speculation about which aspects of life will never be the same what do we think will have altered fundamentally in our sector? I would imagine most team sports just want to get back to competition, runners want to run and cyclists want to cycle? Gyms will re-open and local community activity will look very similar. But on the other hand how can things look just the same when there has been such devastating impact on the finances of the sector. Will our volunteers and members return now they have discovered other things in their lives?

The fact that Government has kept staying physically active as a key plank of its policy is a major policy win. We need to work hard to make sure they understand what they have been saying and embed it into future thinking. But even this policy has highlighted some uncomfortable truths about our divided nation. Access even to green open spaces has highlighted the social divide in Britain. Austerity has reduced public space and parks.

Every part of our sector will have horror stories about what they have lost during this period - and not just financially. Sport is mainly social. This has been a difficult period for mental wellbeing as much as physical wellbeing.

There are multiple examples of organisations innovating - but we need more and to share them widely.

However, as Think Tank we are here to create space and time to look at what a Post Coronavirus sport and physical Activity sector will look like and what the new Normal will be. But it's not just us who needs to do this work. As usual we would love to source your ideas and create a special Post-Coronavirus are on our website.

Join us. Submit your tweets, articles, ideas and posts. We are all in this together and we come out of this stronger through collaboration.

Andy Reed

Tags: Featured, Policy, Sport

Comments (2)

1. Gareth Dix said on Mon, 06 Apr 2020 19:34:

Surely sport and physical activity has a huge role in the re-galvanising of community.. But how can we ensure that physical activity becomes the cement of societal rebuild? Perhaps through adaptive leadership nationally and locally placing value in transformational relationships, perhaps by being more place-proud than ever, or by bravely removing the shackles on how we do funding, and mostly through community legends with incredible lived experience and stories to tell?

2. Katherine Knight said on Mon, 06 Apr 2020 20:23:

This is a really important topic and one we have been discussing at Intelligent Health and Rounders England. There is an opportunity here to reset how we approach our health and wellbeing especially for people who are inactive. We can all see the impact of the current advice on people being given permission to get active and we don’t want to lose the positives in amongst the horror of the virus. How we can support people to build healthy activity into daily life when the restrictions are lifted provides a once in a lifetime opportunity for the sector and one we can all support to build active communities. The work that has been done in the last few weeks has been remarkable but we do need to look ahead to how this can be a major behaviour change moment for the nation. At our Rounders England board meeting this weekend we began exciting plans to embrace this and I look forward to seeing how we seize the moment, together.

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