Sports Coordinator, Trevor Shillingford says the sports division is in the process of putting guidelines in place for the resumption of sporting activities in schools.
He made the announcement as a guest on Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit Annou Pale talk show over the weekend.
He said physical education and sports at schools which are part of the school’s curriculum designed to get the students active, have been negatively impacted by Covid-19 bringing most of the sporting activities in schools to a halt.
“We would have to provide a set of guidelines, because we have to be cognizant that we are still operating in the Covid-19 environment and there is a need for us to establish some guidelines that would ensure the safety of our student athletes,” he said. “There will also be a need for discussions with the Ministry of Education; that process we have already started.”
According to Shillingford, education would also be an important factor in the process of ensuring a successful resumption of sports in schools, “and we believe we can use the various sporting activities within the schools to educate our student athletes as to some of the safety measures that they would have to take.”
The sports official also highlighted the need for student athletes to be educated on the importance of getting vaccinated.
“We also need to educate the students that if they continue to participate in the various sporting activities there will definitely be need for protection,” Shillingford noted. “We will need to have that extra layer of protection which will be the issue of vaccination. We would definitely have to engage our student athletes on the issue of vaccination.”
Shillingford did not indicate how soon those guidelines would be ready.
Prime Minister Skerrit announced towards the end of January that Cabinet would be considering a set of guidelines for a blended approach to instruction which would take effect “within the coming weeks”, but there has since been no indication as to when face-to-face instruction will be reintroduced in schools on the island.
Following a surge in Covid-19 cases in 2020, the Ministry of Education, at the start of the 2021-2022 academic year, took a decision to revert to the online platform in order to safeguard students and educators.