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Sports fans missing 'a sense of identity and unity' while fixtures put on hold

23 April 2020 10:33 AM
Tags:
Sports
Covid-19 impact on sports
spectators

There's a certain camaraderie that comes with being a sports fan. Right now, it feels lost, says sports psychologist Dr Henning Gericke.

The global Covid-19 pandemic has led to the postponement of almost all major sporting events.

Aside from the obvious economic impact on the sports industry, there is also a major social cost.

Dr Gericke says a lot has been taken away with the suspension of sporting events.

He says many sports-mad South Africans have lost a sense of social identity and belonging.

Dr Gericke explains that watching and supporting sport is a social event that feeds a primal need, fosters social connections, and gives many people a sense of identity.

He says watching sport can also be a form of stress release.

From international matches to inter-school games, sport is a powerful tool to inspire others and build resilience.

While the situation is taking its toll on the whole industry, including players, Dr Gericke suggests that sports fans may be suffering the most.

We are sport-mad. Sport is a way of life in South Africa.

Dr Henning Gericke, Sport Psychologist

A lot of people live their dreams through sport. They watch and see themselves in the sport.

Dr Henning Gericke, Sport Psychologist

Sport creates a lot of memories... the camaraderie, being together, fighting for something and believing in one another.

Dr Henning Gericke, Sport Psychologist

This will pass. Maybe it will take a bit longer, but then we'll appreciate sport again. We'll appreciate what we've got in life again.

Dr Henning Gericke, Sport Psychologist

Meanwhile, the CEO of BET.co.za Scott Canny says his sports betting business has had to get creative after taking a knock.

We're at the point where we're actually taking bets on people who are playing Fifa against each other online.

 Scott Canny , CEO at BET.co.za

It's been tough. We never could have seen this coming.

 Scott Canny, CEO at BET.co.za

Listen to the discussion on Tonight with Lester Kiewit:


23 April 2020 10:33 AM
Tags:
Sports
Covid-19 impact on sports
spectators

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