Injuries and accidents

Why is it so important

  • During a training session or a Sport event, managers are co-responsible for possible risk situations that may harm participants
  • Massive Sport events comprise huge threats that should be foreseen in advance. The direct effects of an unexpected situation and severely affect an ISO economically and in its reputation

What you will find here

Basic recommendations to prevent injuries and accidents in Sport for All activities (when organizing events, in training sessions and while Doing Sport individually ow without direct supervision)

Who can apply this

  • Event organisers
  • Club managers
  • Facility owners



  • The pandemic has brought new conditions to Sport practice
  • Although COVID19 pandemic has been overcome any countries still struggle with the vaccination process. It would not be unlikely to have a new variant or a new disease of global scale
  • With this in mind, Sport facilities and event organisers should keep biosecurity protocols securing at least:
    • Vaccination requirement
    • Visual delimitation of areas
    • Permanent sanitation of area
    • Adapted (but not limiting) rules and variants in Sport of contact. P
  • Click here to check Considerations for public health authorities

When organising Sport events

  • A contingency plan is mandatory with the endorsement of a health institution, e.g., the Red Cross
  • Coordinate events with competent bodies, including traffic authority, Firefighters, police, among others

Key themes to consider:

  • Enough quantity of paramedics, ambulances and emergency equipment
  • Emergency protocols: nearest hospitals
  • Complete registration forms with exoneration of responsibilities, emergency contact details and other medical pre-existences
  • Provide adequate warm-up before the activity

During training sessions

At certain ages (especially seniors) there is a decrease in physical capabilities, including loss of muscle, balance, and overall cardiovascular health. Therefore, the risks of suffering injuries or other events are high. Practitioners of Sport for All should  consider these measures:

  • Balance exercises according to a previous diagnostic
  • Focus on adapting exercises towards their abilities and challenging them a bit more every time
  • Emergency protocols

Doing Sport individually or with limited supervision

  • Sport offer members the possibility of doing Sport individually or with limited supervision: fitness, running, cycling, trekking
  • ISOs and clubs promoting this type of SportSport should inform participants of the risks associated with individual involvement in two levels:
    • Personal security, e.g., when climbing, doing trekking or cycling in a remote place
    • Health capacity, e.g., suggested distance to run before an Iron Man
    • Consumption of nutritional supplements, either natural or artificial
    • Risks of alcohol and drugs consumption when doing physical activity
    • Recovery suggestions: Stretching, sleep, etc.

Preventing risk according to age and target groups

  • Assessment of skill, weight, and physical and psychological maturity level for the Sport
  • Once identified potential risk factors, it is essential to understand the disease (mental or physical) given each age and provide adapted activities


  • Bodies are still growing, and their coordination may not be fully developed
  • Levels of strength/effort should be carefully assessed


  • Take in mind the level of physical activity and health preconditions to create tailored programmes:
  • It may be risky to start a programme with people not physically active for more than a year
  • They should obtain approval and recommendations from a physician to assess whether some of these diseases exist: Arthritis, heart or circulatory disease, kidney disease, lung disease, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s

People with AIDS or other incurable diseases

  • As with the Elderly, the effort capacity of people with this type of disease is high
  • The risks of having an episode such as low on pressure is high. Coaches or event organisers should have protocols to respond  to these situations

To check additional security suggestions, please check each specific Activity Boxes related to these Target Groups.


Insurance coverage for participants

  • These guidelines apply to any space with physical activity: Sport events or training  sessions.
  • Although many European countries provide free access to health services, in other contexts private medical care bring high costs.
  • Sport for All managers, in particular, event organisers should provide basic health insurance memberships to their participants.
  • If not prevented on time due to the lack of insurance coverage, if an accident occurs, the ISOs might be charged with all the medical costs and also liable for other types of responsibility.
  • A smart managerial action would be to find ways to stabilise sponsorship agreements with health insurance companies. From their side, it might also be an interesting strategy due to the relatedness of Sport with physical and mental well-being. Please read more about fundraising and sponsorship initiatives in Additional Guideline “Fundraising”.