Government’s latest COVID-19 restrictions which came into effect yesterday, has dealt yet another blow to local sporting activities scheduled to take place within the next 10 days.
Banned until the end of this month are all non- contact sporting activities, inclusive of in-door and out-door trainings, local competitions, gym workouts or social activities.
The government statement noted that special provisions apply for individuals or immediate family household to exercise in a safe, open air space.
These activities may include running or walking, cycling, home gyms, yoga etc.
Special permission will be granted for athletes requiring one on one coaching/ training for non-contact sports and for one and one personal training.
One of the events postponed until further notice is the Saint Lucia Athletic Association Jumps Festival which was slated for today (Saturday 23rd January 2021) at the George Odlum Stadium in Vieux Fort.
Up until the deadline of Thursday 21st January, a combined 18 field athletes had already registered for the men and women Long Jump; High Jump and Pole Vault events.
According to SLAA President, Cornelius Breen, “The technical committee will reschedule the Festival after the current restrictions are lifted”
Breen said, “This is an anticipated setback to the start of our 2021 track and field season. However, we are hopeful that we can get the season underway as quickly and as safely as possible”.
“The Independence Games and National Junior Championships are staple events on our calendar therefore we urge athletes to continue to train with respect to the established protocols. While we understand that athletes are excited to start off the season, their health and safety are of the utmost importance to us. We remain vigilant and committed.
“We remain optimistic that we will overcome these challenges and move forward to get our athletes back on the tracks. Our athletes remain focused and motivated and are ever prepared to represent Saint Lucia when called upon. We encourage all to keep safe and follow the protocols,” Breen noted.
Also postponed is SLAA Challenge Meet No.1 that was scheduled for Sunday 31st January.
On Centre Court things do not look too bright for Tennis either as the Oliver Gobat Sports Fund (TOGS) tennis Open which served off last weekend at the National Tennis Centre has been postponed until further notice.
“Sad to say we must adhere to the protocols set by the authorities and because of this the tournament will be postponed until further notice,” Said Skyla Murray, administrator at the National Tennis Centre (NTC).
In terms of the level of competition, Murray noted, “It was exciting to the junior players competing after such a long time. I expect a similar high quality of play when the all clear is given and the action resume on centre court”.
Meanwhile, on Thursday 21st in the Men’s Double, Ricardo Francois and Randolph Rosemond defeated Reep Bishamber and Thaddeus Emile in a rain delayed encounter. Ricardo and Randolph won the first set on Wednesday evening 6-2, the scores were locked at 4-4 before the rain interrupted. On the resumption on Thursday, Ricardo and Randolph went on to win 6-4.
In other matches played this week, Iesha Emile continued her good run on form defeating Scyla Murray 6-3, 6-3 and Amelia Rosemond 6-0; 6-0.
COTECC No.8th ranked player, Iyana Paul got her rhythm back, showing some determination and urgency in the second round of the round robin Women’s Open when she breezed past Amelia Rosemond 6-2, 6-0. In her opening match she was defeated by Iesha Emile 6-2, 6-4.
In Girls 14 age group, Iyana Paul had the better of Amara Jn Marie 4-2, 4-1; and in an all sister derby, Amia Jn Marie defeated Amara Jn Marie 4-2, 5-4.
Added to the list of postponed events is the funeral and celebration of the life of St. Croix ‘VASSO’ Albert which was scheduled for today (Saturday 23rd) at the Sab Sporting Facility from 1.30 p.m. The former legendary footballer/coach and stalwart of the VSADC club passed away on Thursday 7th January.