No, not blowing bubbles. West Ham United fans, calm down, I’m not quoting your teams’ song either. About a year ago, COVID-19 began crippling the whole world as lockdowns across the world started to become a reality. 

As sports fans, the future was uncertain, and events such as the Olympics and Euro 2020 were suspended. We feared the worst as we sat at home, not knowing when we’d see live sport again.

Fast forward to 2021 and live sport is back! Yes, in most parts of the world Covid-19 is still very much a factor, but sports have found a way to keep going. 

The bio-bubble has become the new norm for sportsmen and women across the globe. With regular testing and all precautions being followed athletes have been able to return to action. This doesn’t mean that there haven’t been challenges, but, through perseverance, and the amount of money in sports, they have been able to keep going. 

The NFL has played through multiple positive tests, postponing games and isolating players as been the order of the day. Other sports have done similar things when it comes to Covid-19. For the most part, they have found a way to keep going. As a South African sports fan, however, it’s been really tough. Our sports don’t have the funding required to do all the necessary things to get through this unprecedented time. 

Unfortunately, we’ve had to suffer more postponements and cancelled games. The Department of Sports, and Department of Health, have been working tirelessly to get athletes back on the field again. 

Sportspeople have to train in isolation, or in much smaller groups to minimize the risk of the spread of Covid19! Hopefully, with the vaccine seemingly around the corner, we will have live sports, with fans in the stands back as soon as possible but for now, at least we have live sport back. 

Sport is a huge global influence on people. It affects mental health, it uplifts, it gives you hope and inspires greatness. There is something about watching a team or athlete fighting against the odds to come out on top that fuels a sports fan like nothing else. Watching your team win a tournament or a league title can make or break your mood. 

Covid19 could ultimately have a better positive effect on sports! I know, in this country we will only feel those effects in the coming years. 

Youngsters around the country are currently unable to become involved in sports, and we have no indication that it will be returning anytime soon. This could be detrimental to a young child’s development in any given sport. They could fall out of love with the game they love, and participation numbers could drop severely. 

The optimist in me prefers the other side of the coin; the side where kids are more determined to play a sport not only for the mental benefit because if Covid19 has taught us anything, it’s that, physical health should be paramount in our everyday routines. Your body works so much better when you’re physically fit. 

Sport has powered through this challenging time in everyone’s life, and hopefully, it can continue to filter down to the amateur sportsmen and women who are on the side-line for now. Some athletes in other countries have been lucky enough to continue, and people across the globe have been getting creative when it comes to home training and keeping some level of fitness going while we wait to hear when we can get back on the sports field again. 

One day when you are participating in the sport’s you love with no restrictions, remember these times, remember how Covid19 affected everyone’s lives and be grateful to be back out there again. Also, encourage children to join in and get involved in all sports. It teaches discipline, teamwork, never to give up and more importantly does not discriminate. Anyone of any race, creed or colour can play sport and be involved in sport, it brings people together from all walks of life and has the power to change the world for the better!