The Coronavirus, Covid-19, has hit the world, hard. With social isolation, closed borders and tragic loss of life, every single person has been affected, including sports. Sport at all levels – from grassroots to national and international– is suffering along with many other sectors from the unprecedented disruption.
No one knows when this will end or what state the world will be in once we get through this, however what we do know is that we will get through this together.
The current day to day reality of the virus is for us all to socially distance ourselves from one another and for others already touched by the virus to self-isolate.
While this is needed to slow the pace and spread of the virus, it’s a situation that will lead to increased isolation for many people in our community. And with this social isolation being compounded by the restrictions on physical activity, exercise and sport, this is an enormous challenge to our resilience and mental health as a nation.
Our love of sport here at the Australian Sports Foundation is not just because it is a fun and an enjoyable way to pass the time.
It’s because we know the power sport has to bring communities together, to break down the barriers of social exclusion and to improve the health and mental wellbeing of everyone – young or old, regardless of status, background, ability or location.
This need for social isolation stops us from benefiting from the power of sport – at the precise time that its benefits are most in need. And we at the Australian Sports Foundation want to push back on that.
Over the coming months we will be tackling this challenge head on, and we’d love your help and support to create a nationwide movement that reflects Australia’s love of sport, and ensures we are ready to get back on our track or playing field – or in the pool, whatever it may be, when life returns to normal.
What we are doing
Firstly we want to encourage our sporting community to share positive content with us on social media about what you, your team and your community are doing to get through this. We will be using the hashtag #GameOn on all social posts and we would love to see everyone do the same.
Why “Game On”?
Because it’s a rallying cry. We say “game on” to the negative impacts of the virus as we know that together we will beat this. And, of course, we say “Game On” because we look forward to the day when people will once again come together through sport when the virus is under control.
Secondly, in the coming weeks we will send a short survey to all our clubs and contacts so we can better understand the impact the virus is having on the wider sporting community and how we might best be able to provide much needed support to help sport get back to normal when the time comes.
Thirdly, many in our communities are still reeling from the devastating effects of the summer bushfires, floods, and other natural disasters. Very soon we will be launching a grant round for those clubs and communities affected directly by these disasters with funding available to help replace lost or damaged equipment, or to help members who have suffered loss get back into sport. Keep an eye on our website and social posts for further information, and please ensure that affected clubs in your community do likewise so they know how to apply for funding.
In short, we want the sporting community to know that the Australian Sports Foundation is here to help, and we will be focusing all our efforts and available funds to ensure we come through this stronger together.
Like other organisations, we’re now largely working remotely. However you can still reach out to the team for assistance on the usual numbers, and there should be no disruption to business or service levels.
Best wishes to you, your families and communities as we face this challenge together.