Strategic sport planning from a holistic perspective

Strategic sport planning from a holistic perspective

Strategic plans are a planning instrument used to analyze, organize, and program future actions concerning the local sports system, but... how should these strategies be? Adaptable to constant changes and in line with the context and the environment.

At the municipal level, an important point in the concretion of actions for citizens should be the development of sports policies for all, favoring the practice of physical activity and sports for life. And in this sense, the constant change in society and evolution at all levels affects people's lifestyles and, therefore, also in their levels of sports practice and their typology. Thus, physical activity and sport must adapt to the changing environment to continue maintaining and gaining new practitioners.

In general, the current lifestyle of most of the population involves sedentary behaviors for much of the day: work, motorized travel, and public transport, digital entertainment, etc. Given the existing data that show these trends, the World Health Organization (WHO) is carrying out the "Global Action Plan on Physical Activity and Health 2018 to 2030: More active people for a healthier World", which aims to promote physical activity to improve health, through a set of measures to improve the environment and opportunities so that everyone can have a greater dedication to the practice of physical activity.

For this reason, municipal sports policies must be aligned with the holistic 360º vision of sports-health, where healthy lifestyles are based on maintaining optimal physical and mental health, both from the practice of physical activity, such as diet or on a psychological level. In this sense, society is increasingly recovering lost feelings of identity and community, where people want to be part of something and are attracted to the products that define them and their lifestyle ("healthy "," real food "," fit ", etc.). For their part, social networks and so-called influencers help create this virtual and face-to-face community by promoting products, experiences and sharing lifestyles that impact and interfere with their followers.

In this integral vision of health, body-mind balance plays a relevant role, and part of the sports disciplines that work more traditionally on this aspect (yoga, Pilates, etc.), more and more evolved variations appear as emerging trends, as well as new activities (Tai-ski, Fly yoga, etc.). This fact may be related to the fact that users tend to seek experiences beyond the practice itself, that is, they are more attracted by the experiences and emotions generated by the activity than by the fact of developing it.

Currently, thinking about physical activity and sports is also thinking about environmental sustainability, and that is because municipal actions should not be far from this increasingly necessary phenomenon. Because active and healthy lifestyles contribute to an improvement in environmental sustainability, as stated by the WHO in its Global Action Plan on Physical Activity mentioned above. In this, it is emphasized that the most active societies are also more sustainable with the environment since it achieves a reduction in the use of fossil fuels, cleaner air, and less road congestion. This awareness of the environment is also becoming more apparent among practitioners, who are increasingly committed to the sustainable sport. According to Daniel Macaulay, director of the marketing agency Brandwave, 80% of the products are bought for emotional reasons and 20% for functional reasons, thus dominating the feeling that the user is doing something beneficial. Along the same lines, would be found the results of the study "Nielsen Global Survey of Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability", which indicate that 66% of consumers are willing to pay a higher price for products and brands committed to a social impact and positive environmental, especially among those under 34 years of age.

Thus, the adaptation of sport to current lifestyles goes through a set of integrated elements that lead to the conception of a healthy lifestyle that goes beyond the mere practice of physical activity and sport, encompassing different areas at the individual, social, and environmental levels. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the weight that sports health has had in comparison with professional sports has been observed because many people (regular practitioners and non-practitioners) have seen the importance of maintaining an active lifestyle in the months of confinement from different sports practices. It is for this reason that public institutions must work from this perspective to adapt communities and products to favor a more committed and healthy society at all levels.