VARIOUS AUTHORS (names at the end of the text)
This Wednesday (23), the date on which we celebrate Olympic Day, we reflect on the purpose of Olympism: building a better world, having sport as an instrument of citizenship and education; free from discrimination; and with the valuing of equality, friendship and solidarity —concepts and values that are so lacking today. We, at Atletas pelo Brasil, defend access to sport for all Brazilians as a promoter of these values, as a guarantee of a social right already provided for in the Federal Constitution and as an inducing element of integral human development.
The sport policy in the country is outdated. Its main element, the National Sports Plan (PND), has not yet been implemented. Provided since 1998, through the Pelé Law, it has not even been sent by the government to the National Congress.
This June 23, we call attention to what the sports sector and society have been waiting for for 23 years: the implementation of the PND. In the absence of this plan, the application of public resources to sport, especially educational sport, continues without clear and defined strategic guidelines. The coordination of efforts between the federal government, states and municipalities in actions and measures on sports is also hampered. This means that the actors participating in the sports system do not have established attributions of responsibilities.
Society expects the government to play an active role in promoting sport. The 2015 National Household Sample Survey (PNAD) reveals that more than 118 million Brazilians believe that the government should invest in physical and sports activities. Of these, 91% expect the public resource to prioritize activities for people in general, and not just for training athletes.
The PND is a fundamental public policy instrument to place the practice of sport and physical activity as a central element of coordination between different areas and government bodies, due to its transversality and the positive effects on the educational process of children and young people and on the improvement of life and health of the population.
Studies prove that the practice of physical and sports activities, done in an adequate manner for the school age, positively impacts the cognitive and psychosocial development of children. For this to happen, the infrastructure for this must be available. However, 64% of basic education schools in the country do not have a sports court, according to the 2019 School Census.
Furthermore, today Brazil is affected by another pandemic, that of physical inactivity. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), we are the fifth most sedentary country in the world and 300 thousand people die each year in the country as a result of diseases related to sedentary lifestyle.
Thus, we fight for the implementation of the National Sports Plan as a way of laying the foundations on which goals and actions will be pursued in a period of ten years, as a State policy that is truly inclusive, contributes to reversing the frameworks mentioned above and that democratize the access of all Brazilians to the practice of sports.
Too much time was spent waiting for the PND. It has been debated at national conferences, expert meetings and by the National Council for Sport, having received initial contributions from Parliament. It is imperative that, now, the federal government sends it to Congress so that, in new rounds of listening to society, it is improved and, finally, it becomes law. After so many victories, we want to celebrate this one more together with our people, our nation.
As it is an essential public policy instrument to raise the level of sports practice in the country, in all areas, it is essential that it be presented and finally implemented. The national sport can no longer stand to wait.
To paraphrase one of the advisors of Atletas pelo Brasil, having the National Sports Plan finally presented to society and forwarded by the federal government to the Legislative Power cannot be more difficult than winning a World Cup.
Former professional athletes, they are members of the Atletas pelo Brasil association
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