The South Africa Athletics are really bemoaning lack of insurance cover for athletes during this covid-19 pandemic; a prerequisite it deem fit for athletics resumption.
Although the ‘permitted athletes’ are allowed to go ahead to resume training expecially in private facility. But the criteria for the chosen ‘permitted athletes’ are somehow confusing.
Athletics SA president Aleck Skhosana said. “In the wake of this reality‚ Athletics SA advises and encourages permitted athletes‚ coaches and support teams to only use private facilities because they have cover.
“Athletes based at or using tertiary facilities and private facilities that have applied and been granted such permissions to host such training are normally covered by insurance of those institutions.”
Only SA’s track and field stars who belong to universities look as if they will be able to resume training‚ Athletics SA (ASA) has suggested in a statement.
The federation‚ pointing out its insurance did not cover Covid-19‚ added there would be no national events.
It did not even want athletes competing internationally though it is not clear if that would include the handful hoping to take part in Diamond League meets from August to October.
The Athletics SA decision comes despite the government’s thumbs up for contact sports to return to competition under strict protocols‚ notably football.
Coaches and competitors from other top Olympic codes have been anxiously waiting to get back into proper training.
“Even though athletics has been classified as a non-contact sport‚ it has unavoidable dynamics that may not be controlled during the action of competition and therefore making transmission a dangerous reality‚” Athletics SA president Aleck Skhosana said.
Athletics SA said it had compared the protocol models of World Athletics and other bodies and countries and decided “none of them address the current dire scenario faced by SA and athletics”.
“We cannot create a protocol that can save a life of an athlete‚ coach or any role-player.
“Athletics SA has resolved not to host any national activities or participate at international events until Athletics SA deems it safe to do so or until it is expertly advised by the department of sport and World Athletics that it is medically safe to host events at national and international stage.
“And once expertly advised by the department of sport‚ ASA will then take the responsibility to assess and decide on the appropriate way forward.”
Athletics SA also said its athletes’ insurance did not cover Covid-19.
Athletics SA pointed out many athlete came from impoverished communities and were far from medical centres. “They too must be equally protected from infections and from possible death … Athletics SA has chosen to be [extraordinarily] cautious because one infection or one death would be one too many for our sport‚ especially when we knew that this is an avoidable situation.”