PICKING up from our last column on Resilience in this pandemic period, we look into establishing sports clubs as part of our Covid-19 recovery plans.

Sports clubs are considered the backbone of sports programs. Other countries have it.

Incidentally, it is not as defined as how they have it there. We have grassroots development programs initiated by various NSA’s, schools, and the PSC. But a defined plan and trajectory for sports clubs may be necessary.

Sports clubs have been synonymous with being “elite” and wealthy since club memberships cost an arm and a leg.

The pandemic gives us a chance to establish an inclusive sports club that can erase its notion of “elite and rich” patrons only.

In establishing these new sports clubs, here are some thoughts to consider: Membership - as initially proposed, sports clubs have the vibe of elitism. It is the first consideration we should have -- inclusivity.

Rates can be made affordable for everyone who wishes to become a member. A clear membership roster also helps in the health monitoring of the participants should there be a need to do such.

Programs and activities -- apart from the usual organization of games, the clubs can establish regular health screening among members and establish provision for counseling in aid of mental health. It need not be costly since the club can partner with the government and other sectors, especially mental health programs.

Inter-club activities make club participation worthwhile, a chance to interact with members from other clubs. Of course, subject to existing health protocols and guidelines.

We can explore these but a few details in slowly re-opening sports activities. I cannot emphasize the benefits of club participation in individuals and the community. With informal groups established among bikers, swimmers, ball games, etc., we can solidify our position by coming together and making this a favorable reality in our recovery efforts.

Perhaps the PSC can even adopt this at the LGU level given their mandate to “...sustain sports development in the country....” The establishment of sports clubs is one way of fulfilling this mandate. There is nothing more worth supporting than LGU-run and managed sports clubs per barangay. Again, it does not have to be elitist.

Our recovery plan must be inclusive, and exclusion will not pave the way for it. Make it happen.