After eighteen months, contact sports can now resume, but with restrictions. Effective Wednesday, October twentieth, those wanting to organize and participate in sporting activities such as football, volleyball, basketball and other disciplines referred to as contact sports can begin. The Ministry of Health and Wellness along with the National Sports Council have come up with a process through which one can apply to carry out tournaments and events. At this time, it would have to happen without spectators, but will allow for athletes to train and prepare for national and international matches. News Five spoke today with Deputy Sports Director Marvin Ottley.
Marvin Ottley, Deputy Director, National Sports Council
“A lot of athletes have been waiting but for us, we had to do a lot of back checks in order to get it back and to get it back safely especially competitive contact sports. There is some measures that we will have to follow. So there is some measures that we will have to follow. Most of the tournaments or people who would want to apply for tournaments would have to have COVID protocols in place and also National Sports Council has its protocols for all its venues that is gonna be used. Primarily, if you apply to the National Sports Council for use of the facility, then you will have to submit all the teams that will be involved, all the officials that will be involved and we then forward that to the ministry to vet it and then we give approval – the Ministry of Youth and Sports and Ministry of Health then gives approval for the tournament to proceed. This is not a one-day or one-week process; the minimum will be two weeks. And so we urge associations or people who will be involved or creating sporting events to follow that process as best as possible. In regards to community sports, we know a lot of that is all over the place. One of the requests and very important for athletes – they don’t have to be teams, but maybe they converge together on a daily basis – keep your vaccine card, if you could laminate all of them on one file so that if the police do go and check, you will have them already prepared that police could look at it and then you can continue with your practice in a community settings. That’s for contact sports. Remember non-contact sports have been on the list that could have had competitions.”