An association called España se Mueve – along with the High Sports Council, the autonomous community of Madrid and the Madrid city hall – has launched a campaign to help the Spanish sports sector weather the Covid-19 storm and promote sport among the populace for the sake of public health.

Called “This Christmas, Give the Gift of Sport, Give the Gift of Health,” the campaign has hit the airwaves, the sports magazines and social media, with promotional support from a variety of sports celebrities, among them Fernando CarroEva del MoralSofía MirandaRoberto NúñezJennifer Pareja and José Luis Llorente. The Spanish Agency Health Protection through Sport (AEPSAD), the Spanish Soirts Association (ADESP) and many other organizations are backing the initiative.

According to Fernando Soria Hernández, head of projects for España se Mueve, “sport is part of the solution to the economic, social and health crisis we’re going through because of Covid-19.” A study commissioned from PriceWaterhouseCoopers in June by the Asociación del Deporte Español and the Observatorio de la Vida Activa y Saludable (part of the Fundación España Activa) concurs.

Titled Thermometer of Spain’s Sports Ecosystem, the study attempts to provide a qualitative and quantitative measure of the Covid-19 pandemic’s effects on the Spanish sports industry. Preliminary results project a drop of 38.5 percent, or €4,616 million, in the 2020 revenues of all of Spain’s players in the sector, led by sports clubs, sporting goods retailers and sports facilities. If the figures do not soon return to 2019 levels, the lockdowns ordered by Spanish authorities might end up eliminating 31,000 to 42,000 jobs in the sector.

Apparently, lockdowns have also cut the number of involved with sports in Spain by 14.1 percent, or 1.4 million people – to potentially widespread effect. According to the study, sports and exercise are the “most effective and efficient” means to “build an abler, happier and more sustainable” society, while simultaneously serving both as preventive medicine and as a cost-cutting method for healthcare. With Covid-19 reducing the number of sports practitioners by 14.1 percent, the projected cost has risen by €508 million to €2,312 million.