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Virtual sports are the next big thing! Are you for it?

Since its outbreak, the Covid-19 pandemic has halted most sports that we enjoyed watching and playing as physical contact is no longer allowed as a means to curb the spread of the disease. Not since the cataclysmic World War 2 has the world observed a major disruption on sporting calendars as most physical and close contact sports today are forced to postpone indefinitely, or worst, cancelled.

As mass gathering events including sports are prohibited in most countries, people are now staying indoors and have shifted towards online as a means of staying active and creative in these times of consternation. With cases of Covid-19 proliferating every day worldwide, tighter restrictions are imposed to mitigate the risks of transmission which further limits the chances of going outdoors for simple exercising or playing sports. All in all, physical and close contacting sports are no longer a common sight as most sporting events have been considerably affected by the ongoing pandemic.

Five sports affected by the pandemic

1. Marathon

It came as no surprise that long-distance runs are heavily impacted by the pandemic. Considering this sport receives participation from people of different age groups, it typically draws a large crowd. As the pandemic continues its stay, it is safe to say that many are yearning for participation in mass events due to prolonged isolation. To stay active, many have since switched to virtual running where one is to run at their own pace and place with no one else present.

2. Cycling

Other than the mass participants and crowds, another drawback to cycling during the pandemic is the long-distance travels which require cyclists from different locations to travel and congregate in another state or country for the most part. In fact, what concerns cyclists in America is rather the off-field factors such as travelling and lack of enforcement of protocols in race accommodations, which could put them at risk of transmission. As the virus continues to spread, little to no cycling races could be held today. And most cycling events have turned their backs on physical racing and are slowly adapting to a new approach, the virtual approach.

3. Mountain bike racing

A competitive outdoor sport in nature, mountain biking has been greatly affected due to its outgoing nature and mass participation factor. Although close contact is less when the race is underway, risks of transmission persist as the races consist of mass starting with more than 100 riders in close proximity. Moreover, the unpredictable nature of the pandemic has constantly called for regularly shifting safety guidelines which give event organisers and promoters a hard time to plan a Covid-safe event. That said, bikers have found ways to keep the mountain biking spirit alive as one can now race virtually along with thousand others through various technology-supported means and events.

4. Rowing

Unsurprisingly, the pandemic dealt a blow on rowing as the sport’s major event, the Olympics, was forced to be postponed to this year. This remains doubtful whether it can even go on anytime soon as the pandemic hardly slows down. This close contact sport also poses a high risk of transmission with athletes from three different nations contracted the virus after the European Rowing Championships last year. However, upon high demands, rowing is now adapting to virtuality with numerous events and competitions held around the world.

5. Roller sports

This multidisciplinary sport that includes skateboarding, inline hockey, and roller freestyle are gravely affected by the pandemic too. In fact, the World Roller Games, a multi-sport event which consists of eleven disciplines in skating, is postponed to 2022 to make way for other events in 2021 that were supposed to be held last year.

However, roller sports as a recreational activity has observed a surge in popularity in the United States since the pandemic. With up to 3.7 billion videos featuring the sport itself posted on the social networking site TikTok, the roller skates business saw a boost in sales. All in all, the sport has definitely benefited from the pandemic as it makes a great outdoor workout activity.

Although physical races remain second to none when it comes to the atmosphere and crowds, going virtual with sports is the next big thing. And with a bit of luck, it could replicate the thrills and spills of the physical races in a safer mode and bring forth a new experience to many race enthusiasts.

With our D3VR app, you will be the first to know when there are new races held by us here in Singapore. We have successfully held a two-months long virtual race, Runnify 2020, that saw three different races ran by participants at their own pace and place.

Next, we have brought physical cycling races back with the SG 10 Hour Cycling event. Cyclists can now get their bike out on the road again as they ride solo and race together in spirit until the 28th of February. To participate, simply download our app on your smartphone via Play Store or App Store for registration.

To be the first to know about our upcoming events, make sure to turn the notifications on as you will be notified of any races happening soon! For more information, get in touch with us!

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