In addition to communicating with policymakers, the campaign aims to work with the scientific community to highlight the importance of sport for mental and physical health recovery as well as to mobilise athletes and sports fans.
During an information session with the IIHF President held on Monday, IIHF MNAs were each asked to give a short report on the status of COVID-19 in their country and on the status of their return-to-play processes. The IIHF also published a Roadmap to Safe Ice Hockey together with other material for its member national associations and other hockey organizations.
“The IIHF Member National Federations are in the process of slowly restarting their operations by following guidance and the lifting of restrictions by their governments and public health authorities,” said IIHF President René Fasel.
“The IIHF’s support for this campaign is based on a desire to encourage governments to think about sport as a path to help people return to a normal way of life. It is not intended to replace the guidance and restrictions of governments and public health authorities, or to push these organizations to lift their restrictions before it is safe to do so.”
The #Sport4Recovery campaign has a number of signatories that come from a wide variety of sports federations.
"We believe that sport can serve as a role model for other sectors of society in demonstrating and promoting the organisation of safe and controlled activities and we welcome sports organisations and stakeholders involved in sport around the world to join our movement,” said Sarah Lewis, Secretary General of the International Ski Federation (FIS) and the Association of the International Olympic Winter Sports Federations (AIOWF). “After all, organised sport is already staged according to controlled procedures and comprehensive health and safety protocols to ensure the wellbeing of all involved."
“With the cessation of organised sport comes tremendous uncertainty presently for our sector, including the grassroots and youth development level, which has been shaped and grown over decades and provides a key societal function as well as an important economic impact contribution globally, nationally and in local communities," added Patrick Comninos, CEO of the Basketball Champions League.
The #Sport4Recovery campaign includes a call on governments to:
- Recognise the importance of organised sport given its societal, physical and mental health benefits, especially as we emerge from months of lockdown that has restricted the ability of athletes to participate in their livelihoods and fans the opportunity to watch sport.
- Work with sports governing bodies and other stakeholders to develop and approve detailed protocols to enable the timely re-opening of venues, training and competition.
- Protect the sports sector from further massive economic and structural damage by actively supporting the development of a sustainable pathway to re-open when it is safe for everyone involved.
- Ease national and international travel and accommodation regulations for top athletes, teams and officials, in line with health and safety protocols.
- Consider the needs of each individual sport; support for women’s sports both at the grassroots and top level; and the importance of sport for the disabled.
And in line with the safety principles that are being established for other sectors:
- Enable spectators to attend live sporting events.
- Allow amateur sports clubs and facilities to open.
- Begin to ease national and international travel and accommodation regulations for spectators and fans.
#Sport4Recovery is fully committed to working with governments and health authorities to ensure this is done safely - in accordance with the necessary measures such as testing for top athletes, social distancing, defined hygiene measures, as well as monitoring and tracking protocols sanctioned by government authorities.
The founding underwriters of the #Sport4Recovery manifesto are (in alphabetical order): Alliance of European Hockey Clubs (E.H.C.), Basketball Champions League, Basketball Champions League Americas, European Volleyball Federation (CEV), French Swimming Federation, International Basketball Federation (FIBA), International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), International Motorcycling Federation (FIM), International Ski Federation (FIS), Italian Athletics Federation (FIDAL), Italian Golf Federation (FIG), Italian Ice Sports Association (FISG), Infront, Le Five, Lega Serie A, MXGP, and Sporsora.
For more information, please visit www.sport4recovery.org.