Sport

Lifting ban on sports the best news

Lifting ban on sports the best news

President Uhuru Kenyatta delivers his address at this year's Labour Day celebrations at State House, Nairobi.

Photo credit: PSCU

The anxiety that was building up among sportsmen and women after President Uhuru Kenyatta suspended sports activities for the second time on March 26, is finally over after the ban was lifted.

During his Labour Day speech at State House Nairobi, President Uhuru lifted the suspension  but directed that resumption of sports be guided by regulations to be issued by the ministries of Health and Sports.

One thing which is clear is that sports will finally resume, and the men and women who depend on it for a living will have something to take home to their families.

Just like last year when sports were eventually reopened after  a ban of close to six months due to the coronavirus pandemic, there will be guidelines and rules in place to keep athletes, officials, and fans safe.

Once again, handshakes and high-fives may be banned in most sports.

Alternative social distancing celebrations will be enforced, there will be no crowds, as leagues will opt to play their matches in empty stadiums and venues.

When post-coronavirus era sports return, they’ll probably be a little more different than what people were used to.

The people in charge of sports believe there will be long-lasting disruption even when things finally settle. There will be a major test if spectators attempt to rush back and crowd in stadiums.

Many sports federations are scrambling to reorganise their calendars to ensure delayed tournaments take place to their conclusion. Football Kenya Federation has already given a tentative date of May 13 for  the resumption of the Football Kenya Federation Premier League.

Path to recovery

Several disciplines have international assignments such as basketball in which men’s and women’s teams are preparing for AfoBasket finals (for men)  and qualifiers (women), respectively , and in football, national team Harambee Stars have World Cup qualifiers. Federations should be given the greenlight to allow players  to start training.

With the sports sector hard hit by the Covid-19 break, it everybody’s prayer that the Ministry of Sports and county governments will step in to help cushion the critically affected areas.

The government should lead from the front. Its responsibilities in sports development should be clear on the path to recovery by offering free or subsidised venues for use.

Let the sports industry have healthy and sustainable development going forward, otherwise we can as well brace ourselves  for a bleak future in sports in this country.

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