Contact person:
Susanna Hedenborg
  • Riksidrottsförbundet
Responsible at MaU:
Susanna Hedenborg
Project members at MaU:
Time frame:
01 May 2023 - 01 May 2024
Research subject:

Project description

Sports were affected by the corona pandemic in several ways. Events, competitions and matches were cancelled, but also training. The members of the sports movement could not play their sport in the way they were used to and the audience had to change their habits. The sports movement was also affected financially (Andersson et al. 2021, RF 2021, Norberg 2021). But not all sports were affected in the same way. While some - especially indoor sports where the participants had close contact with each other - canceled a large part of their activities, others - outdoor sports where the participants were not so close to each other - experienced an increase in interest. Geographical differences also existed. A little simplified, you can say that a gymnastics club in northern Sweden had different challenges than a football club in southern Sweden.

At the same time, the crisis showed that sports could undergo rapid changes in a way that had previously been impossible to predict. Meetings, but also events such as exercise runs, were digitized and many began to move more in outdoor environments. One trend, at least for adult exercisers, was that although sports activities decreased, physical activity remained unchanged. For younger exercisers (especially young adults), on the other hand, a reduced participation in sports seemed to affect physical activity negatively. More of them testified that they lacked what they perceived as the most important driving force for practicing sports – the competition (Andersson et al. 2021).

The concern for the future has been palpable within the sports movement (RF 2021). The purpose of the study is to deepen the understanding of how sports were affected by corona by conducting interviews with representatives of special sports associations, district-level associations and associations. In doing so, we want to contribute to more knowledge about the assumptions and strategic considerations that were made during the pandemic and how to work with the return to operations after the pandemic - as well as what lessons can be learned in the longer term.