With contact sports expected to be in full flow come end of this month under stage 4 of the government’s Covid-19 emergency response programme, many contact sports federations have expressed mixed reactions.
The health ministry and the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) have been on record emphasising that the return of contact sports and the subsequent hosting of events will be subjected to strict health and safety regulations as announced by the government.
Among the many health and hygiene measures obligatory to the various federations and umbrella bodies, the wearing of masks, social distancing, sanitising and washing of hands as well as constant checking of body temperatures at venue entry points remain a top priority and will be enforceable. The return of all contact sports will also be subjected to a limited number of 250 people at an event.
But some federations, despite welcoming the reopening of non-contact sports, fear the costs of keeping up with the stipulated health requirements in order to host events, especially the uninterrupted supply of hand sanitisers and masks as well as buying quality thermometers to monitor the athletes’ body temperatures.
Big federations with the assistance of their sponsors and technical partners might be in a position to stock up on all required health and safety materials, but the financial capabilities of the usually underfunded smaller sport unions remain a huge doubt.
Speaking to New Era Sport yesterday, Cricket Namibia vice president Polly Negongo welcomed the resumption of contact sports and admitted that although stocking up on all required health and safety materials will be a huge challenge, federations themselves should also put plans in place to ensure the wellbeing of their athletes.
“For the senior national team, we are in need of one thermometer only but now the worries will only be for our local clubs who will have to purchase all these things on their own. Its high time federations start making plans to take care of themselves, we cannot rely on the government for everything. It’s time the sports fraternity start taking responsibility for our very own good,” said Negongo.
Rugby is one of the many returning contact sports and the vice president of the Namibia Rugby Union (NRU) Walter Don said they have no choice but to adhere to the set health regulations, and that means acquiring all needed materials in order to host events and protect the athletes.
“It’s great news to allow contact sport to return, especially rugby which has been dormant for the whole year. We welcome the government’s decision to return all sport codes to play. It’s important we take all precautions against the virus by ensuring measures are being followed. Allowing them to return to the field of play will require us to follow these measures of sanitising our hands and wearing face masks at all times. All in all, I am excited as we are planning the way forward to get back on the field of play,” said Don.
Meanwhile, Netball Namibia (NN) yesterday also shared some guidelines to its members on its Facebook page, especially on how matches will be conducted and what is expected from the players. NN also assured that all required health and safety materials would be made available on a consistent basis.
2020-06-25 08:11:24 | 2 months ago