On Friday December 3rd, the European Commission’s expert group on “Strengthening the recovery and the crisis resilience of the sport sector during and in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic" held its 3rd meeting, focussing on the European fitness and physical activity sector.
After the welcoming words from the European Commission, Luka Živić, representing the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU, gave a state of play on COVID-19 in the EU member States. In addition to presenting an overview of the covid-measures currently in place across Europe, Mr Živić mentioned that member states have identified some potential long-term impacts from the pandemic, such as better use of technology to be active, new ways of being active, and the increasing recognition of the importance of physical activity for your health.
Following the state of play, Lukas Declercq, EuropeActive’s EU and Public Affairs Director and Stefan Ludwig, Head of the Sport Business Group at Deloitte, informed the participants of the impact of COVID-19 on the European fitness and physical activity sector. Based on the findings from the 2021 European Health and Fitness Market report, the COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns have unsurprisingly had a significant impact on memberships and revenues. However, according to the data collection on the re-opening of the sector, starting around mid-2021 in most EU member states, the recovery has been strong and swift, demonstrating the strength of the underlying fundamentals of the sector.
Thereafter, Mr Declercq presented the activities EuropeActive has developed throughout the pandemic and the EuropeActive Horizon 2025 Sectoral Manifesto. He expanded on the work EuropeActive has done with the WHO for its Reinvent and Rebuild series and stressed the importance of using the momentum created by the pandemic to get physical activity and the services delivered by the physical activity and sport stakeholders recognised as essential going forward.
During the second part of the session, the expert from the EU member states and the observers from the European Sport Movement exchanged views on the challenges presented by the continuing impact of COVID-19.
You can find the latest information on the covid measures currently applying to the fitness centres in Europe here