Published: 02nd January 2021
The future of Sports: Will we get to see major sporting events and tournaments in 2021?
Sports has been one of the most disrupted industries and especially non-elite sporting activities such as coaching, grassroots and age group sports has seen almost no action
That 2020 has been unprecedented would now be an underwhelming statement, one that has been heard many a times in the recent past. There is still some time before the COVID-19 vaccine passes the usual distribution hiccups and the pandemic is controlled.
When the lives and livelihood of millions around the world have been affected by COVID-19 to the extent it has, sports can’t really be at the forefront of anyone's thoughts. However, the significance that sports, health and fitness hold in times like these can't be underestimated.
When the opening game of Korean Football League was showcased on Twitter on May 8, 2020, an estimated 3 million fans logged on to watch it worldwide. Leagues and tournaments slowly started finding their feet and fans have now started making their way back as well. Sports in India has also started moving with IPL held in UAE and the ISL being held in Goa.
Nikhil Paramjit Sharma | Pic: SAGE India
Sports has been one of the most disrupted industries and especially non-elite sporting activities such as coaching, grassroots and age group sports has seen almost no action. Professionals involved in these activities have seen their career take a back seat.
While 2021 won't quite bring the same days as those of 2020, any expectation that sports (much like life on the whole) will be the same again is misplaced. The word ‘immunity’ though will now be firmly entrenched in our minds.
Bio-bubbles have become a norm in the sporting world and it’s expected to continue through at least three-fourths of 2021. This basically means a firm distancing from the outside world for quite a lot of elite athletes. Tennis was one of the first sports to begin at all levels and individual sports will continue gaining salience again in 2021. The fitness and health industry has seen a radical change in 2020. It’s likely you will not find your desired bicycle in the store. Cycle sales have hit the roof and almost everyone you know of is taking at least one online fitness class. Technology-based fitness and heath apps have experienced accelerated growth.
For students of sports and allied courses, like sports management, learning methodology has been altered and so have the opportunities that the sports world offers. Innovative experiences will bring in a lot of value for those looking to enter the field. Not just degree courses but specific learning certifications are a great option to keep adding to your repertoire. Technology has always played a huge role in sports and while video assistant referee (VAR) is receiving some flak from football purists, technology and sports will continue their firm march together in 2021.
Nikhil Paramjit Sharma is the founder and CEO of zlait Sports Management and has co-authored India's Football Dream with Shantanu Gupta that was published by SAGE India.