On the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, Tuesday April 6th, the World Health Organisation (WHO) organized the ReInvent and ReBuild – Stronger, fairer physical activity and sports systems for all webinar to discuss ideas on the future of sports and physical activity in a post-COVID era.
In his introductory remarks, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, underlined the challenges posed by the pandemic on physical activity and sports system, as sports and fitness centres have closed and individuals were less active. Expanding on Dr Tedros’ remarks, Dr Naoko Yamamoto, WHO Assistant Director-General, emphasized the importance of physical activity on both physical and mental health, indicating that the closure of sports and fitness centres thus represent a dual crisis for public health.
Subsequently, Ms Gabriela Ramos, UNESCO Assistant Director General, stated that sport and physical activity are part of the solution to recover from the ongoing crisis. She said that sport and physical activity contribute to more resilient and equal societies and announced that UNESCO’s new tools on Quality Physical Education will be launched soon. Ms Daniela Bas, UN Division for Inclusive Social Development Director, stated that the pandemic showed us that it is now time to indeed re-invent and re-build new policies, with better investment and prioritization.
After the speeches from the WHO and UNESCO representatives, a panel of government, civil society and industry representatives exchanged views on how the reinventing and rebuilding effort of the sport and physical activity system could take shape.
Dr Fiona Bull, Head of WHO Unit for Physical Activity and host of the webinar, informed the participants, that this webinar and debate can be considered as a kick-off and that several webinars will take place in the upcoming weeks to continue the reinventing and rebuilding debate. These webinars will be co-organised by the WHO and its partners, including EuropeActive. More information on these sessions will follow soon.
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