MEPs call for EU action plan to address ‘disastrous’ impact health pandemic has had on sport

20.11.2020, The Parliament Magazine

COVID-19 crisis predicted to have serious long-term impact on both sport and young people’s health and wellbeing.

The demand came during a debate by members of the European Parliament’s Culture Committee on Thursday. The meeting heard of the “devastating” impact COVID-19 has had on Europe’s youth and on sport since the outbreak began earlier this year. MEPs in the committee agreed on a motion for a resolution calling for an action plan at EU level. Committee chair Sabine Verheyen, speaking via a video link, told the committee that the pandemic will have “serious long-term effects” on both sport and young people. The German deputy a member of the centre-right EPP Group in the Parliament, said “There was a problem in this area even before the crisis, but this problem will worsen if urgent action is not taken now.” Participation in sports and exercise, typically regarded as healthy activities, has also been badly hit.

“The impact on local sporting clubs has been particularly serious because these are usually not-for-profit organisations which have little no financial reserves” Sabine Verheyen MEP, chair of the European Parliament’s Culture Committee. Verheyen said this had had a spin-off effect on both the mental and physical well-being of young people. “Sport has been one of the most affected sectors, but the crisis has impacted on all areas where many young people are active. Studies have shown the harsh reality of this crisis which has had a far-reaching and a systemic effect on young people”.

As a result of the outbreak, the Olympics have been cancelled until July 2021 while the Euro 2020 football tournament has also been postponed until next year.

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