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Ray of hope as Amina issues sports restart guidelines

Last updated 3 months ago | By Washington Onyango

Claus Shirievo (left) of MMUST RFC scores a try against Kabras Sugar. [Washington Onyango,Standard]

Sigh of relief:  Federations ask for financial support from Government

CS warns organisations against flouting Covid-19 protocols, says they will be deregistered.

Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed has released guidelines for resumption of sports events.

Yesterday, the CS said the process will be rolled out in two weeks’ time and gave federations seven days to review the protocols then give suggestions on the draft.

The move emerged as good news to the sports industry, which has had no action in the last five months.

“Due to the nature of pandemic it was important to take a delicate and diligent process to satisfy the Ministry of Health and World Health Organisation (WHO) directives including public participation. I hope they will be able to complete exercise as soon as possible and roll out a sports calendar,” said Amina.

The ministry will also take another seven days to align the guidelines with the Ministry of Health before rolling out the procedures.

Resumption of sports activities will take place in six categories that have been split into three phases.

The first phase will be dedicated to medical and athletes’ tests followed by the second phase where the players will be required to resume training individually for seven days before training in small groups for a week.

Then the third phase would come to collective training.

Some of the non-contact sports set for reopening are athletics, volleyball, cricket, bowling, weightlifting, cycling, table tennis, lawn tennis, shooting and golf.

But swimming will be the most hit sport with its resumption set to take a bit longer since swimming pools and aquatic venues all water sports with high aerosol levels will remain closed.

Contact sports – boxing, judo, karate, wrestling, rugby and taekwondo –have been categorised as high risk and take long to resume.

Football, hockey, handball and basketball are some of the sports events rated as low risk.

Organisations risk severe penalties that include deregistration should they flout the guidelines.

The move generated mixed reaction from sports federations.

Chess Kenya President Bernard Wanjala said chess was among the most hit sports with more than 100 full time coaches affected.

“We are glad that at least it mark the resumption of sports. The guidelines are good but ministry should also understand federations are hard hit financially to implement some protocols,” he said.

Athletic Kenya executive member Barnaba Korir called on the Government to continue cushioning athletes.

“For us, it is a less contact sport which will be easy to implement the guidelines but we need financial aid to make it work,” he said.

Kenya Rugby Union boss Oduor Gangla said: “It is a good sign for sportsmen and women in the country. We will go through the report first.”

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