- Say decision however, solely relies on the COVID-19 presidential task force
- Athletes from individual sporting codes allowed to train
It is the hope of Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) to see all sporting codes return to their respective playing fields in the near future, BNSC Chairperson Marumo Morule has told Gazette Sport.
Sport in Botswana has been at a standstill for a number of weeks now after the government introduced restrictions that were meant to curb the spread of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, after a spell of inactivity, the government through BNSC last week Friday announced that non-contact sport codes may return to training grounds as the country continues to see the virus restrictions being eased.
“The COVID-19 Task Force has approved individual or non-contact sport to return to training. Training will permitted from 0600-0900 hrs and 1600-1800 hrs respectively,” BNSC stated in their media statement released last week Friday. “National Sport Associations (NSAs) that wish to start their activities are to get clearance from the BNSC.” Some of the sporting codes have been granted permission to resume training include badminton, tennis, cycling and bowling.
Asked by Gazette Sport in an exclusive interview, when other sporting codes (team sport) can be expected to return , the BNSC Chairperson responded; “It is our expectation that they will return soon. I think one thing that one must appreciate is that the decision on who is allowed to return to training or engage in sport relies on the COVID-19 presidential task force through the advice of their medical team. It is really not our call,but it is our hope that as things evolve and assessments are being made, other sporting codes will be considered.”
Morule further noted that it is the NSAs who are also charged with the responsibility of determining when they want to return. “The bulk of recommendations and proposals have to come from the federations themselves,” he told this publication. “They have to sit down and see what they can actually do to start going back to the fields.”
In the face of that, the organisers of the Gaborone International (GIM) last week took the decision to cancel this year’s GIM meet due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “In that respect , we are working with the international authorities to identify a suitable date or the event in 2021, preferably in April/May as has been the tradition,” GIM organisers said in a statement.
Meanwhile, after weeks of standstill, sport activities have resumed in other countries with football making a comeback in Germany. The German top football league, Bundesliga resumed behind closed doors this past weekend, becoming the maiden European football league to resume amid the Coronavirus pandemic. Other European countries which among others include Spain and England are expected to continue with the top flight football competitions next month.