With the entire world battling with physical and emotional effects of the global lockdown by various governments following the COVID-19 pandemic, the Commonwealth Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland has advised individuals to consider series of daily exercises to keep fit and overcome the potential health and mental challenges as a result of the lockdown.
Promoting the exercise initiative on the Commonwealth Secretariat social media platform, the Secretary-General observed that although ‘Public parks have been gated shut, beaches emptied and stadia deserted, as an unprecedented 2.5 billion people across the world are told to sit at home’ as a precautionary measure to contain the spread of the virus. Thanks to technological advancement, people can still stay active at home and engage in daily exercises.
In an effort to encourage citizens to partake in sports activities, Mrs. Scotland identified Commonwealth athletes, ranging from Cameroon’s Samuel Eto’o and West Indies’ Brian Lara to Ghana’s Olympian Akwasi Frimpong, Kenya’s Eluid Kipchoge and Hellen Obiri and the United Kingdom’s Tom Daley who have been sharing important information on reducing the spread of coronavirus or staying active at home. In addition, there are several online series, virtual classes, and resources, including Jamaica Moves, to help people stay active, fit, improve mental health and reduce the risks of developing non-infectious diseases.
Despite the closure and indefinite postponement of sporting activities, Mrs. Scotland noted that the Commonwealth will soon launch the Commonwealth Moves campaign to encourage more people from the 54 member countries to stay active and exercise as the world stares down this disruptive pandemic.
According to her, “As the world fights this global threat, we get to make the best of the situation. It is still possible to use sports as a universal language to unite people from different backgrounds, empower communities, contribute to rebuilding nations and of course entertain people”. The only difference would be in the mode of operation.
The Secretary-General reiterated that the international community identified sport as an important enabler of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development and highlighted its impact on health, education, social inclusion, women’s empowerment and youth development.