Athletes are frontliners, too, says Dayrit
Former Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Celso Dayrit on Wednesday urged national sports federations to lay out plans that will help athletes train in ideal conditions despite quarantine controls.
"We must not forget that national athletes have more to lose while in hibernation," Dayrit said in a statement.
"It is best to remember that athletes need to be in their peak when in competition and preparing for this requires uninterrupted training, both physical and mental."
Dayrit, president of the Fencing Confederation of Asia, the sport's continental governing body, said other countries have made special arrangements to help athletes continue their training.
"Proof of this are Olympic qualifiers Ernest Obiena and Carlos Yulo who are now in deep training while in hard-hit COVID-19 countries of Italy and Japan, respectively," he said.
This is why he said concerned sports federations must communicate with the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), which is in charge of coordinating response to the pandemic.
Dayrit recommended federations to:
- Identify and select sports whose athletes could train individually observing all required protocols of proper hygiene, no body contact (physical distancing), and daily temperature screening;
- Identify and select the deserving national athletes and coaches who will be allowed to undergo special training and physical conditioning on specific days, alternatively with other athletes to minimize crowding in the venues. They should be given special IATF passes to commute to their training venues which are secured, regularly sanitized, and exclusively for their use; and
- Formulate and approve guidelines to ensure safety while conversing during instructions/briefing, eating, and use of comfort and dressing rooms. Use of personal sports equipment and uniforms must be encouraged, and not shared with others.
The IATF has eased restrictions on some non-contact sports.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, a member of the IATF, said they will authorize sports such as cycling and golf, citing that these sports may be compliant with physical distancing protocols.
(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website).