Another wave of the novel coronavirus has hit us here in St Vincent and the Grenadines, crippling most, if not all sporting activities.
Like a bolt of lightning, the number of positive cases of the virus has spiked at a point when life in general was getting back to normal, following the travails the virus presented for the better part of 2020.
This, as many had thought that things could not have gotten worse than the standstill in sports, which we had to endure between March and June of last year.
2021 had promised much and sports was supposed to make up for lost time and opportunities which could not have been realised because of the pandemic.
Unfortunately, like the events of last year and the enforced adjustments that had to be made in sports, and the way things are done, have to be put in place again.
So for the time being, we are back to the empty playing fields and hard courts, restricted use of gyms, a complete halt on all sporting activities and competitions.
But we have been there, done that. Therefore it is incumbent of our sporting bodies, be it at the community or at the national level, to reactivate their various systems of engagement for their members.
Webinars, YouTube videos, challenges, online meetings and the likes will become the order of operations for most who are involved in the various sporting disciplines.
Many have come accustomed to these platforms and are at ease with them.
But, how long can our sportsmen and women endure these types of activities, when they have been programmed and cultured to be physically occupied.
Lack of physical activities, results in tardiness, eating disorders, irregular sleeping patterns, and that little desire for outdoor functions. Too, one’s social life becomes mundane and meaningless.
So as we battle the pandemic, we have to be constantly reminded that physical activities are critical to human beings.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) in its recommendations, states that persons do 150 minutes of moderate – intensity or 75 minutes of vigorious-intensity physical activity per week.
How appropiate such recommendations can be, as periodic exercises are critical in times of anxiety, stress, restlessness and fear. And, the state of the world’s health situation demands that persons still go through their physical paces.
Taking this into consideration, there has to be a national response, as the same WHO is setting the guidelines and protocols with the current pandemic.
Thus, the policy makers for sports here, in concert with the national sporting associations, must react to the pandemic in a wholesome manner, whereby there must be some type of sporting/physical activities.
As such, a balance must be struck so that the playing fields, hard courts and other recreational facilities be made accessible, but in a controlled and responsible manner.
Our sportsmen and women, in turn, must show that level of control not to compromise their health and that of the nation, by their irresponsible actions.
It may mean that some of the communities where internet access is not the best or is limited, that these areas be reached so that persons can be in tune, listening to the various media releases pertaining to sports.
The pandemic, as it prolongs, offers outlets for persons in sports to look at the many alternative forms of training and creative ways of staying active and relevant.
We cannot throw up hands and surrender to this pandemic, as life has to go on, so too must sports.
This is imperative as the mental side of our people is paramount, as living in conditions which are against the grain or normal human existence, will take a toll on people’s psyche.
The challenges posed by the coronavirus are many, but they are not insurmountable that the life of sports must come to a complete stand still.