Parimatch Foundation and the Ministry of Sports and Youth Policy of Ukraine launch a study on the impact of sports on physical and mental health
A large-scale study on the level of involvement of children and youth in physical activity, as well as the impact of sports on physical and mental health, is being launched in Ukraine. It will last five months. Parimatch Foundation, an international charitable foundation, initiated the study. The list of partners and implementers of the initiative includes state institutions subordinate to the Ministry of Sports and Youth Policy of Ukraine: the State Institute of Family and Youth Policy and “Sport for All”, an all-Ukrainian center for physical health of the population.
The Foundation’s primary goal is to investigate the level of involvement of children in physical and motor activity, as well as the impact of sports on the physical and mental health of children and youth over the past three years. Alongside this, the aim is to see the dynamics of changes and the current state due to the impact of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine. It will also make it possible to determine the existing restrictions for children and young people to engage in physical education and sports.
— Ukraine has an extensive network of state and non-state institutions in the field of physical culture and sports, the activities of which can affect the state of physical and mental health of children and youth. However, it is necessary to conduct a deep analysis of the situation, in particular, to study the impact of physical education and sports on the way of life and health of children and youth, as well as to study the possibility of using physical education and sports as a way to rehabilitate the physical and mental health of the population of any age and social status. — said Rostyslav Drapushko, the acting director of the State Institute of Family and Youth Policy.
Over the past few years, a number of significant challenges have arisen, affecting the possibility of being engaged in physical activity for children and youth. Quarantine restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic have limited the access of children and youth to educational institutions, physical education and sports institutions. The full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine in February led to significant external and internal migration. Every fifth child was forced to leave home. For an indefinite period of time, studies in educational institutions ceased, as well as the work of school clubs, sections and sports schools. Children were forced to stay in bomb shelters and spend a significant amount of time there, without reaching even a minimum level of physical activity.
Both of these challenges, especially the Russian invasion, provoked significant psychological disorders among children and youth, requiring behavioral correction and, in some cases, rehabilitation. Physical education, sports and engagement in physical activity can become one of the factors, which have the greatest influence on mental and physical health.
— The entire population of Ukraine lives in constant stress, worrying about their lives and the lives of their loved ones and not feeling safe, which has a negative impact on physical and mental health. And this is particularly true for children and youth. Therefore, we aim to do everything possible for every Ukrainian to find their own way to health and well-being through physical education and sports, — said Andrii Rebryna, the director of “Sport for All”, an all-Ukrainian center for health of the population.
The results of the study will allow to determine the impact of involvement in physical education and sports on the way of life and health of children. In this case, the analysis of national and foreign experience will be helpful.
— We support the goal of the nationwide program — “Healthy Ukraine”, initiated by President Volodymyr Zelenskyi, the program aims to make a healthy way of life part of the Ukrainian mentality. Our Foundation implements sports programs for as many children as possible to get involved in regular sports and physical activity. Therefore, the Parimatch Foundation considers it necessary to conduct this study, which is unique to date, since it will have a significant long-term effect on the formation of state policy both in the field of physical education and sports, and in the field of healthcare, youth and social policy and education. In addition, it will provide a vector of development for future projects and programs, and hopefully, for national changes initiated by the state, — commented Vadym Misiura, the director of the representative office of the Parimatch Foundation international charitable fund in Ukraine.
It should be noted that the Parimatch Foundation is doing everything possible to improve the health and well-being of society by providing children with equal opportunities and access to sports and education. Even during the time of military actions, the Foundation does not suspend trainings, but conducts them online. The Parimatch Foundation continues to provide scholarships to children with disabilities and support teaching potential. Since February, the Foundation has also put a focus on helping to evacuate the children, as well as providing humanitarian aid and medical and psychological support for families affected by the war. Currently, it is gradually resuming pre-war sports programs offline and creating new projects that will help accelerate the psychological rehabilitation of children by means of sports. The main goal is to attract as many children as possible to sports leisure and an active way of life.