03 November 2020
Sport

Sports and the pandemic: four webinars with one goal

At the conclusion of the webinar series on sports and the pandemic, reflections and proposals for the future
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The first webinar of the COVID era, which was organized by the Dicastery for the Laity, Family, and Life in collaboration with the John Paul II Foundation for Sport, has come to a successful conclusion. The series of four webinars on the theme of “Sports: Rethinking the future” saw the participation of more than eighty experts from all over the world with an audience of about 150 on the Dicastery’s YouTube page where the webinars were broadcast via livestream.

These very intense sessions, full of comments and ideas, brought to light how the long inactivity brought about by the pandemic can induce physical and motor damage in children, adults, and the elderly. The social and relational impact of the pandemic on sports also became evident—as sports imply respect for rules, for specific roles, for integration amidst diversity—and how the educational aspect of sports must be safeguarded at all costs.

In the final presentation given by Dicastery official Santiago Perez de Camino, head of the Sports Office of the Dicastery, the necessary values to be implemented for a true and effective revival of sports were identified as: integration and inclusion, formation, and sustainability.

The Dicastery also announced its intention to organize an international conference, planned for the end of next year, on the theme of “Sports and human frailty” for the sake of a deepened appreciation for the value of sports in the face of disability, marginalization; and for the fostering of greater inclusivity. A second project for the future is the creation of a working group made up of people from all over the world who work in the area of pastoral ministry within sports, as well as in fields that promote values through sports. This will be for the purpose of sharing best practices which can be reproduced in other places in the world, as well as for the sake of a deepened understanding of issues related to the future of sports and those who practice them.

This is all undertaken with one goal in mind: to place the human person at the center of sports in practice, so as to safeguard his dignity and so that sports may be an instrument of evangelization in the world.