16 June 2020
More than 1 400 000 people participated in #IDSDP2020 online campaign in Kazakhstan.
With the outbreak of the COVID-19, the global sports calendar has been shifted dramatically, such as the postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. At the individual level, the COVID-19 pandemic led to the closure of gyms, stadiums, pools, dance and fitness studios, physiotherapy centres, parks and playgrounds. Under such circumstances, there are concerns that lack of access to regular physical activities and sports may pose challenges to both physical and mental health of people. In light of these issues, the UNESCO Almaty Cluster Office, in cooperation with the National Olympic Committee of the Republic of Kazakhstan, launched an online information campaign within the framework of the International Day of Sports for Development and Peace to support people’s well-being in times of anxiety, crisis, and fear.
The campaign implemented six interactive activities online, attracting more than 1.4 million people, of which interactive games on social media played a proactive role. For example, as part of the campaign, the interactive basketball game in the Instagram live stories has ignited people’s interest to experiment, fail, and try again in sports game until they succeed.
In addition to the interactive sports game, the UNESCO Almaty Office has also implemented a #BeActive indoor physical challenge. In this regard, people were invited to join this challenge by making videos of themselves displaying their creativity in any sporting activity of their choice.
Along with the sports challenges, this campaign also provided a platform for women to tell their stories of female in “male’s sports”. Sports has long since ceased to be men’s game, but women are still experiencing stigma, barrier, embarrassment, and stereotype. Although UNESCO firmly believes that sports is a cultural institution as it plays a significant role in promoting justice, equality and social movement.
Apart from the campaign, the UNESCO Almaty Office also designed a series of interactive learning cards on physical activity following the recommendations of WHO, and also targeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and Kazan Action Plan in promotion of cooperation on sports for development and peace.
Although the COVID-19 outbreak has affected people globally in a sudden manner, sports has shown that it can help individuals and societies to mitigate the negative impact of the crisis on their lives through mechanisms that help increase a general sense of wellbeing.