THE Ministry of Sport and Community Development has ramped up its vaccination drive by asking National Governing Bodies, under their watch, to submit names of people who are interested in getting vaccinated for covid19.
Over the last few months, the Minister of Sport and Community Development Shamfa Cudjoe has been calling on local athletes to get vaccinated in an effort for sports to resume.
Director of physical education and sport division at the Ministry of Sport and Community Development Gabre Mc Tair confirmed with Newsday that 34 NGBs under the ministry were given a September 22 deadline to submit names of people interested in getting vaccinated.
Mc Tair said NGBs can at least inform the ministry of the number of people willing to get vaccinated or if they would have encouraged their members to get vaccinated.
Mc Tair said, “The reason for the initiative was an attempt to follow the Government’s overall policy with respect to trying to get as many people as possible vaccinated and in terms of our sector trying to encourage our sporting bodies to have as many people vaccinated as possible, so that it hopefully would lead to a quicker return to play where sport is concerned.”
Mc Tair said NGBs were asked over a week ago to submit information by September 22.
Asked how the ministry is facilitating the vaccination of athletes, Mc Tair said, “What we will have to do is access the amount of interest that is shown. We are very much aware of the fact that the vaccines are freely available to the population at this particular point in time.
It really depends on what circumstances are assessed in accordance to the numbers that we receive and we will seek to provide some level of facilitation from there.”
Some of the NGBs under the Ministry of Sport are the Surfing Association of TT, the TT Judo Association, the TT Powerlifting Association, the TT Table Tennis Association and the TT Powerboat Association (TTPBA).
President of the TT Cricket Board Azim Bassarath is urging the sporting community to get vaccinated. He said, “We are pleading with the people to go and get vaccinated.
If we serious about the return of sport we have to do what the Government want.
If the Government wants people to be vaccinated, find yourself by the health centres and get vaccinated so that sports will resume as early as possible.”
TTPBA secretary Richard Ramdwar is in support of the ministry’s effort, describing it as “commendable.”
The TTPBA is responsible for hosting the popular Great Race event.