MIL OSI Translation. Region: Germany / Deutschland –
Source: DOSBSport under the sign of the corona pandemic: Declaration by the Conference of the State Sports Associations and the DOSB Declaration by the Conference of the State Sports Associations and the German Olympic Sports Confederation: The conference of the 16 state sports associations met in their digital autumn meeting on September 25, 2020 in Munich together with the Presidium and Board of the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) intensively concerned with the effects of the corona pandemic. Sport in Germany with its 90,000 clubs is experiencing the greatest socio-political and economic challenge since 1945 in the ongoing global corona pandemic. The pandemic has many things taken for granted Our society and thus also in sport in Germany are shaken and, depending on the duration of the crisis, even questions the future viability of organized sport in many areas. The DOSB and the state sports federations view the development of the infection process with great concern. We appeal to all of our members, clubs and associations to continue to consistently comply with the distance and hygiene rules for which we are responsible. The hygiene concepts developed by our clubs and associations are exemplary and their implementation sends an important signal to do everything beyond sport to contain the pandemic and protect the health of everyone. Sports clubs – motors for social cohesion and health The value of sport for our society is measured especially in the provision of unique communal experiences. This applies to both elite and popular sport. Because community means in the around 90,000 sports clubs in Germany in particular the intensive personal exchange among people. This direct experience of closeness was initially completely forbidden for a while under pandemic conditions and is now gradually being achieved again, but only with clear cutbacks due to the required distance. There is also little room left in crisis mode for many other valuable social achievements in sport such as integration, inclusion, sport for the elderly, child and youth work, education, health, lived democracy, etc. Unfortunately, we are currently still a long way from offering a comprehensive range of non-profit sports to society. In particular, there is concern about membership development in all age groups, primarily in children’s and youth sports. In particular, the elimination or the temporary suspension of competitions, as well as currently often further restricted training opportunities, are important here. Small clubs in particular have come through the crisis relatively robustly in recent months due to their voluntary structures. Our sports clubs have taken on many responsibilities since March 2020. They implemented restrictions, sports bans and Corona regulations in a responsible and exemplary manner, organized shopping and neighborhood assistance, expanded digital exercise offers for their members during the lockdown and developed professional hygiene concepts for re-entry into sports after it was over. This means that the all-important community experiences in club sport are now possible again. They are indispensable for the function of sports clubs as a source of inspiration and a motor for health, performance promotion, education, integration and inclusion. Many activities have been temporarily digitized and there are countless creative solutions and an enormous commitment of those responsible for implementation on site, without to call for public help immediately. Many members of sports clubs have become even more aware of the importance of sport in the community and its importance for their own lives due to the temporary ban. Without sport and exercise in the club, many people lack a large part of the quality of life. When discussing corona-related restrictions on sports, the health-promoting effects of exercise, games and sports offered by the clubs are too often overlooked. Good general physical fitness and the positive psychosocial effects of sport in the club community strengthen the immune system. Firstly, you can prevent infections and, secondly, you can help make infections easier. In this way, they also make a valuable contribution to relieving the burden on the health system and thus the costs for society. Despite voluntary work, sports clubs need special public support in the corona pandemic, and sports clubs have proven themselves to be adaptable and robust organizations and thus again confirmed the corresponding scientific findings of recent years. This is especially true for the numerous small clubs. Most of them are voluntary, based on the principle of solidarity and membership and not on fast-moving customer relationships. However, there are currently no members joining during the year to compensate for the usual fluctuation. The looming decline in membership (estimates fluctuate between 5 and 15 percent) will weaken the financial basis of club sports and the financing of sports federations and associations. We are convinced that most sports clubs will compensate for this development in the medium term. But in the current situation they absolutely need additional public support, in the medium term especially to maintain the functionality, in the longer term to retain and attract members. This is because they are confronted with a loss of income and, due to the previously legally restricted possibility to build up reserves, clubs can only make limited use of reserves in order to cope with the crisis. The public aid must not only flow after the free and earmarked reserves have been fully liquidated and must be made less bureaucratic so as not to burden the voluntary work additionally. In addition, financial help will be needed in the next few years to initiate targeted programs to retain and attract members.Medium-sized and large clubs more severely affectedProfessional and semi-professional sports are particularly hard hitThe corona pandemic is particularly hard on the economic side on the one hand, on clubs with their own sports facilities, paid staff and extensive commercial operations because they can only reduce their fixed costs to a limited extent. This also applies to clubs in semi-professional and professional competitive sports. With the exception of the 1st and 2nd Bundesliga, these are economically highly dependent on ticket sales. This is not yet sufficiently taken into account by the federal government’s “Corona aid for professional sport” that has been decided so far. What is needed here is a precise coordination between federal aid and aid at the state level. In addition, a much more unbureaucratic implementation than previously planned is necessary. In addition, large clubs with predominantly popular sports offerings are severely affected, as they have an extensive service portfolio and special facilities such as fitness studios. For these clubs, which are important drivers of innovation in the development of sports, there has so far hardly been any specific help, e.g. To cover their losses in the area of preventive and rehabilitative sports offers. Economic damage threatens Immense consequences in the economic field of the clubs at all levels. Accustomed income is lost in various forms: Without summer festivals, competitions with spectators, services for sponsors, course offers, etc. and the associated income, many offers of the clubs and associations are already recognizable difficult to maintain. In the medium term, the existence of important structures is threatened, and the globally recognized diversity of the club landscape in Germany is acutely endangered. What has been built up over decades threatens to fall victim to the virus in some areas in a relatively short time. Whether and how long the association members accept these significant restrictions over a longer period of time will be shown by the development of the membership numbers at the end of 2020 and in the following years. In addition to the members, this applies even more to the volunteers, many of whom have been on the road for their clubs for weeks and months in a state of emergency. They fight on the grassroots for the survival of their association, try to make the numerous activities possible while observing the special pandemic conditions and are caught in the flood of permits, regulations and the associated application bureaucracy. Now it is important to strengthen volunteer work in order to counteract frustrations. Municipal sports facilities must be available again without restrictions. a. also visible in the areas of sports facility infrastructure, recruiting young talent and competitive sports. Sports halls are empty in many places due to a lack of hygiene concepts, a lack of ventilation options or a complicated implementation of the corona regulations. School sports halls are used as “alternative rooms” for school and other e.g. Local political meetings and activities are misappropriated and are therefore not available for physical activity. This practice should remain a strictly limited exception. In the crisis, the consequences of the decades-old renovation backlog at the sports facilities become all the more painful. The most important partners of the sports clubs are the municipalities as Germany’s largest owners of sports facilities. Many municipalities helped the local associations unbureaucratically to get back to work. We appeal to the municipalities, cities and districts to agree on uniform and comprehensible assessment standards and, wherever possible, to make sports facilities available again in a timely manner without restriction for school and club sports is essential for club sports. It is just as important for the motivation at the local club base as it is for the national or, in some cases, transnational leagues and is the basis for the continuous promotion of competitive sport from the search for talent to the top international. It is therefore particularly important that the currently existing patchwork of protection ordinances of the federal states is transferred into a uniform line or harmonized. We know that local / regional closures must be possible depending on the occasion. We will find solutions for this in partnership by relocating competitions and games. Nevertheless, there is no reason for fundamentally different regulations for competitive sport in the federal states. Organized sport must be strengthened In order to strengthen the opportunities of sport in times of the pandemic and for the time afterwards and to contain the growing risks, the conference of the state sports associations and the DOSB therefore urges those responsible in politics and administration at federal, state and local level to protect the valuable achievements of sport for our society even better through the measures mentioned and thus to secure them in the long term. to organize oneself and to adhere to the rules in a disciplined manner in order to strengthen the skills for self-help! Note: This declaration was drawn up by the conference on the basis of the state sports federations and the DOSB, taking into account the current developments in the meantime.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.