Sitting astride an exercise bike, he asked governments to include sport in their recovery plans, particularly because of the economic and health benefits. He told the global audience:
“This is why I am calling on all the national governments to include sport in their economic recovery programmes, because sport can help the economic recovery. But it is also very important for the prevention of future health crises; that is why it is important that you are all playing sport.”
President Bach also praised WHO and joined other partners in congratulating the organisation on its worldwide #SafeHands campaign.
Starting at 9 a.m. in Manila at WHO’s Office of the Western Pacific (2 a.m. GMT) on Saturday 16 May, the event was a virtual global relay, connecting WHO Regional and Country Offices around the world before returning to Geneva 24 hours later for the opening day of the 73rd World Health Assembly.
The WHO event offered opportunities for people to participate, through a range of online platforms, in a variety of virtual, timed events: yoga, exercise classes for all ages and abilities, meditation, information sessions, and live chats with health experts on topics ranging from physical and mental health to nutrition and healthy ageing.
At the end of his message, President Bach urged people to stay strong, stay active and stay healthy, in reference to the IOC’s #StayStrong campaign, with Olympians encouraging people to get active at home.
So far, the IOC campaign has reached 190 million people on the Olympic Channel and on social media.
The IOC and WHO yesterday signed a new Cooperation Agreement reiterating their joint commitment to promoting healthy lifestyles, including physical activity, sport and active recreation, as a tool for health across the globe. The full details can be found here.