Slowly getting back into the swing of things

Players attending coaching sessions at Not Out Private Coaching at Rosmead, in Kenilworth, get screened before each session.

Primrose Cricket Club stalwart, Saadiek Davids, wasted no time grabbing the small window of opportunity opened by Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa that allowed training under strict conditions.

Mthethwa recently announced that professional contact sports like soccer and rugby will be able to resume training but not playing, under level 3 of the lockdown.

For Davids, who the runs Not Out Private Coaching at Rosmead sports ground, in Kenilworth, the minister’s announcement prompted him to apply for the necessary permits to start coaching.

This was on top of the fact that non-contact professional codes like tennis were allowed to be played behind closed doors.

There is now a proverbial “light at the end of the tunnel” following the two-month lockdown period.

Davids, who has been involved with cricket for 30 years, said although it’s not cricket season, now is probably the best time to try and get back in to the swing of things, without breaking any of the lockdown protocols.

“So 80% of our coaching is on a one-on-one basis, although we do also have school and group coaching, but the emphasis is more on the one-on-one.

“So what we’ve done in term of the protocols, is we got permission from the City of Cape Town and the SAPS. Obviously there’s social protocols that need to be adhered to.

“We maintain distancing with regards to the nets, we also deep-santised all our facilities, we make sure that we sanitise our players hands and take their temperature.

“We have to be careful in terms of what we do with regards to this pandemic. But we also need to do what we can to make use of this window of opportunity.”

Despite the easing of some regulations, restrictions for community or grassroots sports remain unchanged, and these are still under lockdown.

In terms of provisions made, sports bodies and clubs have to work on their Covid-19 readiness plans, to make sure they do things according to regulations.

Western Province Rugby Football Union (WPRFU) is one of those bodies that have gotten the ball rolling, regarding their Covid-19 readiness measures.

Danny Jones, WPRFU’s club rugby general manager, said the process unfolds with SA Rugby, as they work with World Rugby who, like other international sports bodies, have been working on the various return-to-play models.

“The future of sport including rugby will see several components of health and safety practiced at all levels including club level. The return to play will see a level of compliance required as per government regulations.”

These regulations, he said, require them to consider all the aspects of training and competition to prevent the spread of the coronavirus including, but not limited to, sanitisation of facilities, compliance applications, Covid-19 education and much more.

“At the WPRFU we have been implementing the required Covid-19 readiness compliance protocols which sees compliance officers at all facilities. A similar model will most likely be required at club level. This could see that all events and venues will be required to be Covid-19 compliant, with a preceding application process,” he said.

He also reminded their members that even though we are now on level 3 of the national plan, all protocols must be observed.