2020 International Day of Sport for Development and Peace will encourage people to be active while experiencing containment measures,Encourage people to be active while experiencing containment measures,foster solidarity, community and team spirit and raise awareness about COVID-19. UN Photo and Oceania National Olympic Committees/Kelsey LeFevour, Fan Xiao, Daniela Giménez, Alyson Calem-Sangiorgio
Sport and Physical Activity During COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic is spreading to more countries, territories and regions of the world at an alarming rate and physical and social distancing practices are becoming commonplace to stop the spread of the disease. The closure of gyms, sport facilities and stadiums, public pools, dance studios, and playgrounds mean that many of us are not able to actively participate in individual or group sporting or physical activities, nor watch live sporting events. As a result, the global sporting community is facing serious challenges due to measures imposed in countless countries around the world.
But that does not mean we should stop being physically active, nor should we disconnect from the coaches, teammates, instructors and fellow fans who not only help us to stay physically fit but also socially active. The World Health Organization recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity per week, or a combination of both. WHO also have some tips on how to achieve this with no equipment and with limited space. There is an abundance of free and accessible online and digital tools targeted at encouraging people of all ages and abilities to stay active and mobile while remaining at home.
Sport has the power to change the world; it is a fundamental right, a powerful tool to strengthen social ties and promote sustainable development and peace and well as solidarity, and respect. Through our unique individual skills and collective power, we can come together and share creative ways to improve our health and well-being through sport and physical activity – even from the confines of our own homes.
In the lead up to and on 6 April, the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, we are asking everyone to be active, stay healthy and demonstrate solidarity during this period of physical and social distancing. This team spirit will help us all get through the current challenges together.
Sport has historically played an important role in all societies, be it in the form of competitive sport, physical activity or play. But one may wonder: what does sport have to do with the United Nations? In fact, sport presents a natural partnership for the United Nations (UN) system.
In response to global developments concerning the COVID-19 pandemic, this year the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace will focus on the health benefits of participating in sporting and physical activity, especially in this time of uncertainty and social distancing.
For the International Day of Sport this year, let’s #BeActive and healthy to beat #COVID19.
Sport and Sustainable Development
Sport has proven to be a cost-effective and flexible tool in promoting peace and development objectives. In the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development sport’s role for social progress is further acknowledged: “Sport is also an important enabler of sustainable development. We recognize the growing contribution of sport to the realization of development and peace in its promotion of tolerance and respect and the contributions it makes to the empowerment of women and of young people, individuals and communities as well as to health, education and social inclusion objectives.”