They were barely 9,000 last Monday, this Thursday there were already almost 21,000 signatures. Launched at the end of January, following government announcements on the generalization to the entire territory of the curfew at 6 p.m. and the end of indoor sports (in gymnasiums and ice rinks) for minors, the petition “I am a sportsman in distress ”has received broad support from the amateur sports world.
Imagined and launched by Jonathan Zwikel, former international ice hockey player (199 selections between 1997 and 2009) and Jason Lorcher, former professional hockey player, this initiative is a cry of alarm addressed to the Minister of Sports. The two friends demand the resumption of activity for the millions of amateur sportsmen in France.
“The world of sport is withdrawing from the debates”
“The principle is not to create a controversy, we are all aware that the health situation is catastrophic,” explains Jonathan Zwikel. But I have the impression that the world of sport is withdrawing from the debates compared to other sectors such as catering – and I myself am concerned because I have two restaurants in Marseille – or the cultural world. I don’t like the term essential but I don’t understand why it is considered that sport is not essential. “
For the one who competed in the Olympic Games in Nagano in 1998 and then in Salt Lake City in 2002, beyond the economic aspect which risks causing the disappearance of many amateur clubs – “The licensees who leave will perhaps never come back. “- sport is above all a utility stake in” public health “.
“Sport has health, psychological and social legitimacy,” Zwikel continues. A WHO study has shown that 10% of deaths in Europe are the result of a sedentary lifestyle. By depriving children of sports, they are encouraged to watch TV or play video games. It is a disaster for the future. We will host the Olympic Games in 2024 but our children will no longer have the reflex to practice an activity. Do we want our children to stop playing sports? Sport has built me, made me the man I am. The health situation is serious, but stopping sport is not a solution, it is creating a new problem. This is nonsense. “
Aware that the priority remains the control of the pandemic, this dad of 3 children from 8 to 15 years old, also president of the Marseille ice hockey club, had proposed outdoor exercises for young licensees from his club. “We all made efforts to continue practicing despite the sanitary constraints, the children changed in the parking lot because the changing rooms were prohibited, we took the temperature before each session, but we had adapted because we were ready to do anything to continue playing. In the end everything was stopped out of hand. It was shocking. We just want to express ourselves and be heard. It’s democracy. This initiative is reminiscent of that of the owners of sports and fitness rooms who, in September, had launched a petition. It has since been signed by more than 85,000 people.
Article original de: www.leparisien.fr