By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
AS local sporting activities remain on hold throughout the country due to the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, organisations eagerly anticipate the guidelines that will allow them to return to participation.
In her contribution to the Budget Debate for the 2020/2021 fiscal period, Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Lanisha Rolle said the mode of operations for organisations moving forward would be outlined in the official Guidance Document.
“In collaboration with the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture has prepared a list of COVID-19 Guidelines for the benefit of youth organisations, sports federations and organisations and cultural artists and related entities that may choose to conduct independent programmes,” she said, “for the record we emphasise that until we are clear of this state of emergency particular contact sports and related facilities should not be conducted or opened in the absence of health guidance.”
The official Guidance Document was expected to be available Monday 15th June, 2020 on the Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture’s website and Facebook page. Rolle added that the government expects to move ahead with its summer programmes and announced dates for its commencement.
“Under the guidance of the Ministry of Health we are planning to host our four-week summer programmes commencing July 27 to August 21,” she said.
“We also continue to monitor guidance by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention for best practices of reopening youth, sports and cultural sectors and activities. In this COVID-19 environment, our programmes will be guided by and subject to the advice of the Ministry of Health.”
Several international sporting bodies, including FIBA and the World Baseball Softball Confederation, have issued safety guidelines for their respective member federations as the sporting community continues to search for a means to continue amid the pandemic.
FIBA published recommendations on returning to basketball, with a basketball-specific Risk Assessment Tool, produced in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO).
FIBA’s guidelines are primarily for national federations that are seeking direction and advice on the restart of basketball activities and competitions.
The guidelines and risk assessment tool will serve as a checklist to ensure any decisions on basketball events are based on an assessment of risks and the best chance of a successful restart. This publication is not intended to replace the guidance and restrictions of governments and public health authorities.
The WBSC published a set of health and operational recommendations for the safe return of baseball and softball activity.
The precautionary measures and recommendations -- named “Safe Return to Baseball/Softball -- COVID-19 Prevention Guidelines” -- have been developed by the WBSC Medical Commission in accordance with the World Health Organisation’s risk assessment tool and “Considerations for sports federations/sports event organisers when planning mass gatherings in the context of COVID-19”.