Next February 21 will be one month since the practice of sport was suspended in the Valencian Community. The Ministry of Health limited it to individual modalities that were practiced outdoors and with a mask. Regional competitions were paralyzed in all disciplines and all kinds of sports facilities closed down. What was a measure in force until the beginning of February has been extended at least until March 1? However, with infections in decline, as well as the accumulated incidence rate, and the respite that seems to have reached hospitals, the sport claims its rapid and agreed de-escalation.
His request is based on three main arguments: the low incidence of contagion in sports – coded at 0.28% by a report from the Center for the Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies of the Ministry of Health-, the healthy benefits of sport versus sedentary lifestyle, beset by the pandemic, and the need to reactivate sport as a generator of wealth and employment. The pressure that some federations began to exert last week is now being joined by physical activity professionals, sports managers, and even the Trinidad Alfonso Foundation, which has led to the departments of Health and, above all, Sports, headed by Vicent Marza, to create a Sports Table that channels all the demands and with whom it is agreed how and at what rate it will return to normality, with all the security measures.
Federations such as soccer started a campaign last week, #Entrenemsegurs, so that, on March 1, training can be resumed at least, so that the competition would start again in the middle of the month. In football, national competitions have been maintained, but not those that, even though they are autonomous, give access to national categories: Youth Preferential, Amateur Preferential, or the Valenta Autonomous League (them). All of them are paralyzed by the decree of Health.
Especially worrying is the situation of the Valencian pilot. The Professional League has been suspended since January 21 as it is a regional competition and only national ones are allowed. Players with a first-level professional contract, without even being able to play behind closed doors to finish the calendar and be able to fulfill the sponsorship agreements that the Pilota Foundation has, the managing body of the professional competition. Pilota is a sport that, although the main modalities are played in a trinket, the physical contact between players is minimal.
If you pilot him, he has rebelled, so have golf and tennis, two sports impossible to practice since the middle of January when the club facilities were closed. In both, the practice is outdoors and without contact between athletes, so the risks are minimal. Also, both partners and managers are assuming large losses due to the closure due to the need to sustain track and field maintenance Sports.
Handball is suffering especially from the paralysis of competitions and training. “We do not understand that they deprive us that we can go to train and play games. At least the first thing. We have a great responsibility as a club to comply with all measures and protocols to promote a safe environment for our athletes,” explains Manolo Pastor, President of the Elda Prestige. To the blow in sponsorships, partners and spectators can be added “the loss of practitioners, and with them the future of this sport,” adds Juanjo Bataller, president of the Puerto Sagunto Handball Club.
This is precisely what rugby has already noticed. “The decrease in licenses has focused on the lower categories and we attribute it to the fear of the parents, despite the support for sports by the Trinidad Alfonso Foundation through the Activate Clubs and Activate Families programs.” The Trinidad Alfonso Foundation is the one that has raised its voice by positioning itself next to the federations in their claim to Health to return to activity as soon as possible.
Continuing with the restrictions is not only ineffective to fight the Covid but also counterproductive since they keep citizens away from sports practice and benefit a sedentary lifestyle, with its associated problems,” denounces the director of the Trinidad Alfonso Foundation, Elena Tejedor. “Sport is fundamental and the Valencian Community has shown that it is capable of leading this gradual de-escalation with all the guarantees,” he adds. The idea the is that the Sports Board, whose constitution will be announced in the next few hours, meet next week to draw up the de-escalation of the sector with its peculiarities.