Dr Tshepang Tshube Senior Lecturer, Sport & Exercise Psychology in the Department of Sport Science at the University of Botswana (UB) says the prolonged suspension of sport due to Covid-19 has to be looked. In an interview with this publication, he said we have to come up with ways on how competitions should continue.
“The sports leadership should now create an environment that will allow sports to continue because it doesn’t look like sport will be back any time soon,” he observed.
He implored sports leaders to create provisions for sports to continue as they have done in other countries such as Europe and United States of America.
“We should also look at the purpose of sport. In Botswana the purpose of sport has been minimal mainly to entertain ourselves but for the most part it is to see how athletes qualify for the major games and go and compete in Europe and make money there which in the current state is not happening,” he observed.
Tshube is of the view that local sports should emulate that of overseas countries to avoid a long break. Most sporting activities locally stopped in March 2020 after the rapid spread of the coronavirus across the world.
“They should put the Covid-19 protocols locally and have athletes go back to compete and have a limited number of people attending games in the stadium. We can have screening assessment for those who attend. The reason why our sport is delayed is because local sport heavily relies on people going to the stadium physically. Covid-19 does not allow that, we need to streamline sports activities for the wider public to watch from homes. The premier league should play and televise live on national television, there are now live online platforms which can be used,” he advised.
When asked what should athletes do during the prolonged wait for sport to fully start, Tshube said “what athletes do will affect what sports leaders do versa versa.”
He advised that it is high time the sports leaders/authorities figure out on how athletes can compete locally and how they can be rewarded and support them when they are competing locally because it is proving difficult for us to take athletes to compete in Europe and other places.
The UB lecturer observed that athletes’ careers are on the line. “We told Athletes when Covid-19 started that they should stay calm and not panic. They should continue encouraging them to stay calm and trust that the sport leaders will put in place support structures and remain hopefully that Covid-19 will end. Athletes should also reflect on other things that they can do apart from sport that can generate money,” observed Tshube.