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Opinion & Analysis

Welcome back, sport

Today is a significant day. Since the start of the release from lockdown the biggest concern for all contact sports has been that they might not come back at all, but today we see three taking to the field and by next week the core of them are back in one form or another.

A lot of hard work has been seen in the back scenes with associations preparing themselves and learning new ways to be able to cope with restrictions.

A lot of work in planning, but finally we are seeing how sports is re-emerging, slowly but surely and importantly safely.

Nobody wants to trip up as doing so means they could be closed again. But notably it’s the very fact they are emerging which is a major positive note.

There are many moans and critics and negativity around in our society but most sports have remained silent and accepted their fates from the start.

Sport, even before bars and restaurants and other events saw their doors closed and have since been the last to emerge with a semblance of competitive activity.

Some stopped their events in February, before the March lockdown. Closed doors happened in February for them not March.

In all this time they also provided the spine behind some of the events and activities which kept many sane and distracted from what has been going on, and they reinvented themselves to keep their members active and focused and now they are coming back. Showing that working hard and with determination we can adapt and move forward.

Sport if anything, with its very disciplined structures has also shown it’s a ‘safe zone’ and mainly because everyone has wanted to keep it going and won’t risk losing its permits because of transgressions which could be seen as breaking the rules.

If anything sport has become, silently and without fuss, an example of how we can work towards normality. Now with most core sports returning it is up to the participants to keep their focus, enjoy the sport and ensure they keep it open.

Whilst others closed their doors to it because of it’s supposed inactivity, I am now glad we never did and continued our full support throughout because they needed the support during the period of inactivity and society needed that point of distraction which reminded them of normality and what they could still have.

We also needed a reminder that sport is not just what happens on the field it is an integral part of our community which cuts across and is involved in a wider cross section of activities beyond what goes on on the playing field.

So let’s keep it open. And welcome back.

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