In 2020, Coaches Across Continents (CAC), with the Commonwealth Secretariat, created a play-based educational resource, covering issues such as anxiety, self-esteem, and stress. 96% of CAC partners reported the mental well-being of youth they engage has been affected by the pandemic. The resource seeks to benefit any organisation, community, coach, or teacher who interact with young people. The activities are adaptable to participant numbers and restrictions (distancing, hygiene etc) so they can be used in contexts where social distancing and hygiene measures are necessary.
In many ways COVID-19 has brought the world together as we adapt to the lack of travel and group experiences by connecting online and through messaging platforms. We can increase access to sport for development by designing interactive learning techniques accessible for all such as global video sharing and collaboration, active sport for development video games, and virtual reality technology.
COVID-19 has denied people the ability to socialise, play, and move, causing everyone to re-assess what really matters. One of the key opportunities the COVID-19 pandemic recovery presents to sport and play is that its benefits have been reinforced in people’s minds. We can build back better post COVID-19 by re-emphasising sport and play’s role in the emotional and social development of young people as opposed to primarily its role in elite talent development. Coaches using resources such as our Mental Health through Sport curriculum in their work will transform the perception of play in the minds of young people, parents, teachers, and communities.