There is now a proverbial “light at the end of the tunnel” for sports fans following Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa’s announcement that allows 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.
This was on top of the fact that non-contact professional codes like tennis were allowed to be played behind closed doors.
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.