Published on 19 January 2022
This is the good practice's implementation level. It can be national, regional or local.
About this good practice
Covid lock down increased people interest in practising sports. Afterwards, there was a growth in outdoor sports practice. As a consequence, people and private entities started to use public natural spaces like parks and beaches for organizing sports activities and offering their services. Gyms, training groups, boxing and martial arts clubs, and many others (included groups of friends) occupy areas in parks like the old river bed in the city of Valencia. This, also allowed discovering activities people are doing and were out of the radar (slacklines, kangoo power, etc.). The sports council of Valencia decided for a low-intervention approach: observe, learn and intervene only when needed. That included volunteers to orient people in adopting Covid measures, putting in-place equipment in response to the kind of activities people were doing (e.g. kalistenia), create alternatives for aleviating crowds (e.g. healthy paths network) and finally observing the new activities, changes in trends, and others.
No extra resources were needed apart from 100 volunteers and some existing sports equipment.
Evidence of success
This practice is considered as good because it allowed people to practise sports outdoor which has experienced a significant increase. At the same time, parks and beaches have become a living lab/ observatory, offering new insights that are helping in the design and planning of sports programs and outdoor facilities and equipments. It is estimated that the use of public space for sport purposes has increased more that 20% since pandemic began.
Potential for learning or transfer
The experience gained during this time could be of interest for other regions as that: - the approach of observing-learning-acting. - transforming outdoors public spaces in sports observatories. - the measures implemented to regulate outdoor activities and reduce crowds in some places.