Is practicing sport a sufficient reason to be vaccinated against Covid-19? It was the government’s bet which, by making compulsory the presentation of the health pass to access stadiums, gymnasiums and swimming pools, intended to encourage adolescents over 12 years old – and their parents – to take the plunge.
While 68.6% of 12-17 year olds are vaccinated, the situation of sports clubs varies according to their location and the public they welcome. “I know that some of my young people will stop coming”, warned Larbi Liferki, president of the urban sports association Parkour59 in Roubaix (North), a few days before the establishment of the health pass. The association has 300 members, 40% of whom are teenagers aged 12 to 17.
Information had however circulated, upstream, to warn families that activities would become inaccessible to young people who would neither be vaccinated nor in possession of a negative PCR test. “Some parents told us: ‘It’s a shame, we won’t be coming any more’, remembers Larbi Liferki. Many have taken a wait-and-see stance, have had their practice session and are waiting to see if the restrictions will last before signing up. ” 73% of the inhabitants of the North have received two doses of the vaccine, according to data from Public Health France, for 85% on the national average, and 89% in Paris.
Nationally, the sports ministry is reassuring. The feedback from the federations is encouraging, assures the entourage of the minister, Roxana Maracineanu. After having experienced declining figures because of the pandemic, this re-entry, subject to subsequent registrations, has increased by 4% in the number of licensees in handball and from 6% to 7% in volleyball. Rugby also looks like it’s filling up, but fencing is down 11%. Figures for football and basketball have not been released to the World.
But the observation of a drop in attendance of the adolescent public is shared in disadvantaged neighborhoods, a fortiori in cities where vaccination coverage is lower. Thus, in the Vaucluse, where only 72.8% of the inhabitants received two doses, the Club Avignon sports loisirs observes a “Drop in attendance of the adolescent public”, according to its director, Olivier Derrreumaux. “It is a direct consequence of the sanitary pass, he assures, in particular for associations like ours which work a lot in priority neighborhoods. “
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