What can sport and development actors do better in the future?
The entire world is facing a huge crisis in the form of a pandemic since February 2020. Let’s discuss: what can sport and development actors do better in the future? To do better in future we need to follow few steps.
Wearing the shoes of various sport and development actors. First, we need to see:
Where are we now?
- Are our employees/staff/coaches/athletes being in safe places? If not, we need to help them as a team find solutions such as sharing information where they can be quarantined or being safe with families, contacting the team on a video call and discussing safety precaution
- Care and concern will play a major role in this situation
Where do we want to be?
As a team we want to be better in future.
So, we step to second level, the focus should be on our partners, sponsors, stakeholders, agencies and vendors:
- Reaching out to board of directors, senior staff and collecting information about the situation. Preparing new form of SWOT analysis which will likely beneficial for the future. Bringing to the table topics such as payments, insurances, salaries, etc. If these important points are solved or find win-win solutions the partners/sponsors/vendors will be attached to the organisation/agencies/federations and will help sport and development actors do better in future
- When dealing with sponsors/partners transparency and clear communication will be the key. Delivering projects and assignments which are feasible for both parties will sustain the relationship
- When dealing with partners such as infrastructure companies, academies, health & safety would be the major concern in future. Which will create smooth functioning of events and activities
- This will not only help do better in future, this will create organisations/agencies cultural values in the industry
How do we get there and bring change?
“Demand for sport will not decrease; how we deliver sport will be the question.” - Professor Hans Westerbeek
In this stage customer/audience/fans should be the key focus. Along with strong support from partners/sponsors/stakeholder’s sport and development actors need to take these steps to do better in future.
- Coordination with public health authorities or government health workers will be a key role for sport and development actors. If we take an example of an ill person. Post illness precautions and care is the most important part of his recovery. Similarly, to recover from this global illness constant touch base with the public health authorities is a must. This will create a special job position in the sport industry who will look after health and safety and will work closely as a representative of sports
- It’s time to revisit the database and connect to the audience in digital form or on a telephone call. This will raise trust quotient
- When lockdown is opened, starting of regular activities like pre lockdown shouldn’t be followed
- It needs to be prioritised on physical distancing base. An option for a sports club will be half audience filling the stadium half watching online
- For federations connecting the athletes right from step one of the articles would be the best way. For future arrangements safety measures on training venues and competitions should be focus. As mentioned above new job position will be in demand whose background in medicine or play a role as bridge between organisations and health department
- Professional sports stars can engage their audience through social media posts and maintain physical distancing when entering crowds
- To all sport and development actors with the help of technology can create a device in which health test can be conducted in an event or competition
To do better in future is not rocket science, but implementing three steps plan can achieve the goal. Important tip which was said by the officials of the global health body: while maintaining a physical distance was "absolutely essential" amid the global pandemic, it does not mean that socially we have to disconnect from people.
Parth Kalke is a sports management professional in Mumbai, India. He completed his education at Russian International Olympic University.