Posted: Tuesday, April 20, 2021. 3:14 pm CST.
By Rubén Morales Iglesias: “The Belize Athletics Association strongly urges that all its senior athletes get vaccinated,” said a release from the Belize Athletics Association (BAA) today.
The BAA said that since the Ministry of Health and Wellness has made the vaccine available to all persons over the age of eighteen (18) years, athletes who meet the age limitation should get vaccinated.
The BAA said while it has not been able to hold events, now that the vaccination rollout is affording athletes the vaccine, the athletes should get vaccinated. That way as soon as the government gives the go ahead for reactivating sports, they can compete both locally and internationally.
The prevailing COVID-19 restrictions have put a hold on the BAA’s activities that had been planned for April.
The BAA had intended to hold its U20 National Championships on April 24 at the Marion Jones and Technical Official Training at the same venue from April 26 to May 1.
Some of the events the BAA has on its calendar are international championships, so the onus is now on the athletes to get vaccinated if they want to be able to participate freely.
The CADICA Cross Country is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, April 23-24, in Guatemala City and the on May 8 there is the Jamaica Invitational in Kingston and a Track and Field Meet in San Salvador, El Salvador.
“Some host countries are requesting that members of contingents be vaccinated or be quarantined for a period of time upon arriving in the host country,” said the BAA.
The BAA release makes reference to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic which have affected practically all sports.
“In sports, COVID has halted almost every major competition throughout the world, one being the 2020 Tokyo Olympics,” the BAA said. “In the Caribbean and Central American regions, we continue to feel the negative effects in the sport of athletics. Though many have tried to brave the pandemic and hold some events, for others it has been very difficult. Belize is one such country.”
“While we do want our athletes to get back to full training and competitions, we are aware of the fluid situation with COVID -19 and the danger it poses to our already shaken society,” the BAA added. “Therefore, as a responsible association we continue to be guided by the protocols set out by the relevant government authorities and our parent bodies, World Athletics and NACAC.”
In the interim, the BAA said it urges all athletes to continue their individual training and reminds the coaches to submit weekly reports to the association’s secretary.
“As soon as we are able to properly and officially train and compete locally, the BAA stands ready to proceed. Note that we continue to lobby the relevant authorities to allow us to attend our regional and international events,” the BAA concluded.
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