Letter from TAFISA President on the Global Sport for All Movement during COVID-19


Letter from TAFISA President on the Global Sport for All Movement during COVID-19

10 June 2020

Dear TAFISA Members,

The COVID-19 pandemic has been impacting the whole world and radically challenging our way of life, and we hope you, your family and friends are safe and healthy. Under these circumstances, we are aware of the many challenges everyone is facing and we recognise the passion and resourcefulness of the people that make the Global Sport for All Movement, as they design innovative ways to continue supporting their community through the pandemic. The TAFISA Board of Directors is also still active and has held an online Board of Directors meeting last month, while the TAFISA staff has been working from home for the past three months and is now slowly going back to the office in Frankfurt as the situation in Germany is improving.

The world is changing, and it is our collective responsibility to work towards making this change a positive one, exploiting the great potential of Sport for All. Sport and physical activity have proven an essential resource to build resilience and improve both physical and mental health through the pandemic. However, the sport sector has been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak; events are cancelled or postponed, sport facilities are closed, coaches and volunteers are homebound, and many grassroots organisations are struggling to survive. We must ensure the Global Sport for All Movement gets the recognition and support it deserves and empower it to be part of the solution.

The pandemic represents a milestone in the history of humankind; an opportunity for a change of paradigm. Sport for All yields benefits spanning all sectors of society and is needed more than ever. This has always been our strong belief and is the core principle behind TAFISA Mission 2030: For a Better World Through Sport for All. Now is the time to fully unleash Mission 2030’s potential and highlight how Sport for All can play an important and decisive role to shape a brighter future.

TAFISA considers it its duty to support its members no matter the situation and challenges they are facing. In this regard, TAFISA has taken the following steps to support the Global Sport for All Movement throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and ease the transition towards a new world:

  • Policy & Advocacy:
    • TAFISA is working hard to advocate Sport for All, asking global decision makers, the Olympic Movement and governments worldwide to support the global Sport for All Movement and position TAFISA members as key stakeholders who can contribute to the rebuilding of our societies post-COVID.
    • TAFISA co-signed a position paper on COVID-19 and its impact on the sport sector, together with more than 40 National Olympic Committees, International Federations and other sport stakeholders.
    • Together and in consultation with TAFISA members, we are working on the development of a TAFISA vision for the Global Sport for All movement post-COVID-19.
  • Support through exchange of knowledge and resources:
    • A special page on Sport for All and COVID-19 has been opened on the TAFISA website (here), gathering good practices, recommendations, programmes and initiatives from the Global Sport for All Movement to best prepare and support our members through the current challenges.  Please share with us any further interesting resources and initiatives at media@tafisa.org; we will include them.
    • Regional webinars will be organised in the course of June/July; all TAFISA members will be invited to attend, share experiences on how they are facing COVID-19, present solutions that they have launched, share their needs and expectations towards TAFISA and contribute to the building of the post-COVID-19 Global Sport for All Movement. Stay tuned!
  • Practical actions:
    • The TAFISA Office is developing a new concept to relaunch TAFISA World Walking Day in the form of a “24h Relay around the World”, to symbolise the solidarity of the Global Sport for All Movement in those challenging times. More information will come soon; we count on your participation!
    • The TAFISA Office is reflecting on the possibility to organise an online Certified Leadership Course in Sport for All.

During these trying times, unity and solidarity are essential, and TAFISA stands together with its members to overcome the crisis. We are open to any contributions and ideas from our members. Together, we are stronger!

Yours sincerely,

Prof. Dr. Juho Chang, President
Wolfgang Baumann, Secretary General