As lock-down restrictions begin to ease, it is good to see sport and physical activity providers – such as clubs, groups and venues – plan for reopening.
The NHS stated that: “The impact that the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is still having an impact on everyone’s lives. This can cause everyone, including a professional footballer, to feel anxious, stressed, worried, sad, bored, lonely or frustrated. Everyone feels different sometimes. It’s important to remember it is OK to feel this way and that everyone reacts differently – for most of us, these difficult feelings will pass. Help needs to be offered to support mental health and well-being during times of uncertainty. Doing so will help an athlete to think clearly and to help them look after themselves.”
Professional athletes in football and rugby have trained and managed their own mental health in the midst of racism, demands by fans for high performances on the pitch and during training – all of this can have an impact on a sportsman/women especially if an athlete is living with a vulnerable adult.
Gov.UK advises that there are clear guidelines on how athletes and staff who are deemed vulnerable, or are in a household with vulnerable people, should not interact with the training environment or engage in training. Ensuring that prior to the resumption of training, all athletes and staff who are engaged in the training environment are formally appraised of the risks and all mitigating steps being taken. It will be for individual sports to agree with their athletes conditions enabling to return back to the sport action.
In the UK and beyond, professional and Olympic athletes have been striving to maintain their strict training regimes, whilst adhering to lock-down restrictions. Whilst some people may be excited about returning to work, sessions and facilities, early evidence shows that many will be returning to play with even poorer mental health due to coronavirus (Covid-19).