As sport activities are slowly returning in various parts of the world, Namibia recently followed suit when it announced the unbanning of various non-contact sport codes, allowing them to return to training grounds but under strict conditions.
The Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) made the announcement and said all athletes and coaches returning to training grounds should adhere to the set rules and regulations that prohibit athletes and coaches from sharing equipment and other related facilities at venues.
Some of the countries that have allowed sport activities to resume but under strict health regulations are Germany, whose Bundesliga resumed last week. The Australian national rugby league and the North America ice hockey and baseball leagues also returned to work these past weeks, among many other countries worldwide.
Among the local non-contact sport codes allowed to resume training are athletics, archery, chess, cricket, cycling, swimming, golf, gymnastics and motorsport.
The resumption of non-contact sporting activities was welcomed by Namibia’s veteran marathoner Helalia Johannes, who said it was a timely move and will boost the fitness levels and readiness of athletes ahead of major competitions.
“I am very happy because we are going ahead with our training, even though we are not allowed to take part in any competitions at the moment. But this will allow us to keep our bodies fully fit. When the situation returns to normal, everyone will be 100% fit and be able to fully compete. This is a motivation for us because without training you lose your fitness, which makes it tough for one to compete at high-level competitions,” Johannes told New Era Sport.
Johannes, who already booked her spot at the upcoming Olympic Games slated for Tokyo, Japan next year, said it was scary and hard coping with the effects of Covid-19 but maintained it was for everyone’s benefit to remain home and keep the spread of the virus at zero.
“It was tough for us because many competitions that we were looking forward to were all called off, something that mentally and physically affected us big time. Income was also not flowing in as usual and that made the whole situation scary. Not knowing when the disease ending is again another frustration but I think we are now adjusting to the situation. But we had to adhere to the authorities and health experts as our safety comes first. You cannot compete if your body is not functioning well, so that why it was important to adhere to the regulations,” she added.
To her fellow athletes, Johannes had words of hope and encouragement: “I encourage one not to lose hope during this pandemic, I think one should just keep training and keep fit. Let’s just follow the rules and regulations as announced. Keep the body fit until everything returns to normal.”