Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Bright mourned as Covid-19 induced sport drought bites

The year has barely begun but signs are out there that sport is likely to bear the brunt of what has been a start stop Covid-19 affected season.

As the country’s Covid-19 infections rose alarmingly over the past few days, sport has not been spared.

The surge has resulted in some sporting clubs, both professional and social, voluntarily calling an end to their sporting activities.

Such a gesture to stop sporting activities to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 has been applauded by many. 

On Friday during the funeral of the late former national team coach, David Bright, Minister of Sport, Tumiso Rakgare announced that ‘all sports activities have stopped.’ 

Confusing as the announcement may be, given that sporting bodies were yet to receive official correspondence on the matter, some within society have been wondering when it will be made.

However, given that the announcement has not been officially announced to sporting codes, there is likely to be no ceasing of activities.

“We have not seen or received the official correspondence to that sport activities have stopped,” Botswana Football Association spokesperson Tumo Mpatane explains.  

He says following the Minister’s alleged utterances, many of their affiliates(teams) across the country have been calling to confirm if indeed government has suspended sporting activities. 

“We have informed our teams that we have not received any correspondence and that if there is, we will write them an official circular to informing them of the new developments,” he says.  

At the other end of the spectrum, local sport governing body, Botswana National Sort Commission (BNSC) is tightening the guidelines required for sport to play safely.

Acting out of concern at the increasing number of positive cases and deaths, BNSC chief executive Ooficer, Tuelo Serufho says the commission has been forced to come up with new guidelines to mitigate against the spread of the disease. 

“We are aware that people meeting from different places increase the chance of contacting the virus” the BNSC CEO explains.

As such, to guard against the spread of the disease, he says the BNSC has come up with new initiatives that are geared towards playing in safe and secure environment. 

“The new guidelines we have developed will ensure that the sport that we permit to play meets all the set requirements during training or when they compete. The guidelines are not the same for all sport,” Serufho explained. 

Serufho says the new guidelines will supersede the previous ones and stricter than the Covid-19 task force standard guidelines. 

The BNOC CEO says contact sport will have separate guidelines as there is more risk of spreading or contracting the disease in it as opposed to individual sport. 

“There is high risk in contact team sport and the guidelines are stiff for them as compared to individual sport where the risk is much low,” notes the BNSC boss.

Serufho says the rapid spread of the disease forced the BNSC to draft guidelines that will render sport to be played under guaranteed safety because they needed to safeguard lives of everyone involved.


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