The Trinidad Alfonso Foundation wants to value physical activity and sport as a source of health, social engine, generator of wealth, and, above all, as part of the solution to the health crisis of COVID-19. Although in the previous months it has been possible to maintain a certain activity on the part of the different federations (which are carrying out programs that are developed in educational centers, such as, for example, Esport a l’Escola + 1H), and those clubs that have teams that participate in competitions and state leagues, the restrictions adopted by the Ministry of Health in the last month are leading sports agents to a very complicated situation.
In the line that physical activity is a source of health, the World Health Organization also expresses itself: “Regular physical exercise is beneficial for the body and mind. It can reduce hypertension, help control weight, and lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and various forms of cancer, all of which are can increase vulnerability to COVID-19. (…) Regular physical activity can help establish daily routines and be a way to keep in touch with family and friends. It is also good for our mental health, reducing the risk of depression and cognitive decline, delaying the onset of dementia and improving our general mood. “
This ruling goes along the same lines as a report from the Center for the Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies of the Ministry of Health, which pointed out that only 0.28% of the outbreaks of contagions detected had sports practice as their origin. These data and the recommendations affect that sport is a source of health, so continuing with the restrictions are “not only ineffective to fight COVID-19, but counterproductive, since they keep citizens away from sports practice and benefit from sedentary lifestyle, with its associated problems “, denounces the director of the Trinidad Alfonso Foundation, Elena Tejedor.
“Prior to this third wave of the pandemic, sports centers, federations, clubs and the rest of sports agents had opted for the safe practice of sport, by controlling capacity, and taking care of the cleanliness and health of the facilities. Sport is fundamental and the Valencian Community has shown that it is capable of leading this gradual de-escalation with all the guarantees and that physical activity should be a fundamental pillar. It has been shown that the virus is transmitted in specific circumstances, such as closed places, without ventilation and when the use of masks and social distance are not respected. PFor that we must encourage people to go out, to play sports, We cannot put obstacles that discourage the practice of physical activity, “explained Tejedor.
Concern in federations
José Luis López, president of the Valencian Community Rugby Federation, spoke in the same terms: “In the initial phase of the season we were able to start the competition in October with hardly any contagion between the teamsMore than 320 games were played and we only had to postpone about 22 games due to a positive result. Coordinated with the clubs and with a strict sanitary protocol, it was reached at the end of December satisfactorily in terms of activity in training and games. In 2021 things changed and the restrictions imposed have paralyzed all activity other than matches and training sessions for teams that compete in national competitions, although in our opinion and from our experience, playing sports there is a very small number of infections and that most of the few cases that have occurred are imported from social relationships “.
López also referred to the decrease in licenses, especially in base categories: “The impact on the licenses processed has been more or less as expected and the decrease has basically focused on the lower categories, the reduction of licenses is attributed to the fear of the parents, despite the aid to the sport by the Trinidad Alfonso Foundation through the Activate Clubs and Activate Families programs “.
The clubs, to the limit
Manolo Pastor, president of the Elda Prestige handball, also does not understand “the restrictive measures to the sport since, as it has been verified the sport is a safe activity in which there have hardly been contagions, we do not understand that they deprive us that it can be go to train and play games, at least the first. We have a great responsibility as a club to comply with all measures and protocols to promote a safe environment for our athletes “.
Juanjo Bataller, president of the Puerto Sagunto Handball Club, regretted the decisions taken regarding sports entities: “There has been a significant loss of social mass: loss of subscribers, partners and sponsors The economic structure has weakened as members cannot attend matches. We, for example, had to do an ERTE. Unfortunately, this makes the future of the club unpredictable, because practitioners are being lost and we are losing the future. It is essential to maintain the structures of the clubs to continue next year as well as possible. “
José Pedro García, president of the Montemar Club Atlético de Alicante, points out that from his club “we have always considered that we had to put all our means and energy into the fight against this pandemic. Our commitment has been tireless and very serious in a health problem that affects us all. This has resulted in safe activities in 60,000 square meters of Club, with an almost total predominance of spacious and open-air facilities. We can verify that no contagion has been attributable to sports practice in our Club. If the sports centers and clubs of our Community have shown something, it is that we are great allies in the fight against Covid “.