JUSTIN Latapy-George, head sport development in the Sport Development and Performance Unit at the Sports Company of TT (SporTT) has echoed Government’s call to strictly follow the guidelines set during the covid19 pandemic to avoid participation in contact sports.
On May 9, the Prime Minister announced that exercising in public will be allowed along with non-contact sports like golf. Contact sports and team sports are still prohibited including popular sports such as football and cricket.
Latapy-George, the former TT Football Association (TTFA) general secretary, said, “SporTT as a special interest company under the Government through the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs, must strictly adhere to the policies as established by Government.
“The fact is that football is a contact sport, rugby is a contact sport. These are sports that you get very close, you have to screen the ball…and you cannot observe that protocol which is really still in place in a very strong way because of all that is still happening with covid.”
Latapy-George also reminded people to not let this situation keep you on the couch.
“We must first follow the protocols established. As that protocol continues to allow other sporting disciplines to engage in their truest form…footballers could still run their miles, still do some shooting drills, still do some technical drills as well as others in different disciplines could still do technical drills. As has been mandated, what we are simply saying and what we are following is that we cannot get into that close promixity as yet and we must strictly follow that.” Latapy-George said SporTT continues to liaise with National Governing Bodies (NGBs) to offer support during covid19 and re-evaluate plans after the pandemic is over.
“We continue to engage the NGBs as we speak. We started that quite early (in the covid19 pandemic), looking at short and medium term plans and one of those is the rescheduling, the cancellation, the postponement of events that were scheduled for this year…those things are ongoing because there is such a high degree of uncertainty with dates.”
The rescheduling of competitions and events also depends on how other countries recover from the pandemic.
“A lot of things are dependent on countries re-opening their borders, how this covid matter continues to constrict or God forbid expand,” Latapy-George said. “Generally speaking, which continues to be our mandate, we continue to support the NGBs based on their requests, based on their plans.”