Mazey Outlines COVID Safety Rules For Sports

“The resumption of sport and recreation activities will require the implementation of a complex process to ensure the safety of athletes and all stakeholders in the sporting industry.”
10 Sep 2021 16:14
Mazey Outlines COVID Safety Rules For Sports
Fiji National Sports Commission executive chairman, Peter Mazey.

Fiji National Sports Commission chairman, Peter Mazey, has laid down the COVID-19 safety rules when all sporting activities resumes.

He also made it clear that sporting federations breaching these safety rules would be penalised or even stopping the competition.

Mazey said due to the nature of the sporting industry- with close contact required in most sports activities the restarting of social and organised sports and recreation activities consists of many layers.

“Having removed layer upon layer – with its various levels, participation levels, will require each stakeholder to play their part in re-engaging in safe sport,” he said.

“The resumption of sport and recreation activities will require the implementation of a complex process to ensure the safety of athletes and all stakeholders in the sporting industry.”

Mazey said the high level descriptors of three levels (Levels A, B, C) of activities and associated hygiene measures are recommended.

He indicated that preparation for resumption includes education at all level, including all affiliated stakeholders.

These include but not limited to athletes, coaches, managers, technical officials, volunteers, administrators, executives of respective sporting bodies and spectators.

“A thorough assessment of the sport environment with agreed playing scheduling to accommodate social distancing.

“The approach to engaging in safe sports should focus on ‘get in, train/play, get out’, minimising unnecessary contact especially in communal areas.

“Prior to resumption, all sporting organisation should have agreed protocols in place for management of illness in athletes and other personnel.

“Special consideration should be made for para-athletes and others with medical conditions as they may be more vulnerable to COVID-19 infection.

“Clubs and individuals should apply a graded return to mitigate injury risk, understanding that sudden increase in training load will predispose to injury.

“The timing of progression between levels may be influenced by any evidence of transmission issues within the local community or sporting cohort.”

Mazey said individuals should not return to sport if in the last 14 days of isolation they have been unwell or had contact with a known or suspected case of COVID-19.

“Any individual with respiratory symptoms (even if mild) should be considered a potential case and must immediately self-isolate, have COVID-19 excluded and be medically cleared by a doctor to return to the training environment.”

He added athletes returning to sport after COVID-19 infection require special consideration prior to resumption of high intensity physical activity.

Mazey said these standards required by National Sporting Organisations already existed and were established after the initial lockdown in 2020.

“Sporting bodies were required to be certified through the Safe Sports Fiji protocols to resume their sporting programs be it socially or at competition level.

“National Sporting organisations will be required to revisit these standards and provide assurance to Fiji National Sports Commission, Fiji Sports Council and Ministry of Youth and Sports, that they have reviewed the same and have met all prerequisite after this second wave of the Delta variant.”

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