As the various national sporting associations focus on getting their respective disciplines going in 2022, their representatives met last Saturday at Hotel Alexandrina, under the aegis of the SVG Olympic Committee, to discuss the negative impact COVID-19 related protocols are having on sports.
Two of the sporting bodies making presentations in this regard were the SVG Football Federation (SVGFF) and the SVG Squash Association.
Football Unfair requirement
President of the SVGFF Carl Dickson noted that two of the disciplines hardest hit are Football and Cricket, which require all participating players and officials to be vaccinated.
Dickson questioned, “Why are we being asked to achieve a 100 percent status before we can play?”
He assessed this demand as “…unfair and needs to be revisited.”
Dickson proffered that physical activities can assist in starving off the coronavirus.
“My own sense of learning and understanding of how viruses operate, tells me that exercise and outdoor activities are natural combatants of these viruses … Some of what we are doing are really counterproductive,” he said.
And he noted with an air of astonishment that while structured Football is being halted because of the stipulations, “sweat Football”, is taking place untethered.
“Football is played all over the country, in a disorganized and uncontrolled environment. However, what is surprising to me is that there has not been moves by the authorities in any way to stop it”, Dickson observed.
Whilst Football, an outdoor sport has its issues, Squash, which is an indoor sport, is not spared from the protocols as elucidated by its spokesperson- Amber Glasgow.
Glasgow noted that having to share the facility with the day-to-day operations of the National Lotteries Authority, has put the sport in a difficult position.
“Our biggest challenge is our facility, as we share the same entrance and exits and share the same bathroom facilities,” Glasgow shared.
As such, the sport is impeded by the lack of space to implement some of the protocols.
“We do not have any outdoor space … We (also) share the space with Lotto, so we cannot be moving around,” Glasgow lamented.
Glasgow also highlighted that because Squash is a sport in which players ‘sweat’ profusely, use the same ball and unavoidably make contact with one another, this adds to the difficulties in adhering to the protocols.
“According to the protocols we were required to wear masks indoors whilst playing Squash …For competition, they mandated that players wear a mask as well, that is impossible… Our players are not accustomed to training with masks,” she complained.
Glasgow revealed that when all lumped, the sport has suffered immensely.
“We have lost a number of our athletes due to Covid… Before the pandemic, we had probably the largest membership we ever had,” Glasgow informed Saturday’s meeting.
The consensus at last Saturday’s encounter was that the protracted layoff occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic has accounted for up 95 percent in loss of members in some instances, among sporting associations here
Source :The Vincentian