BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
THE Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) has given the greenlight to 24 sport associations, including cricket to resume activities barely 72 hours after banning all sporting activities.
This follows government’s blanket ban on all public gatherings over the weekend due to a spike in COVID-19 cases.
Cricket was in the middle of an international engagement with South Africa and football, which had resumed the Chibuku Cup competition, immediately applied for special waivers to continue activities.
In a statement yesterday, the SRC said it had decided to allow sports associations classified as low-risk to resume activities while competitions remain banned.
“Pursuant to the recently gazetted Statutory Instrument 170 of 2021, the following sports codes, classified as ‘low-risk’ are hereby authorised to resume their activities in accordance with their previously approved COVID-19 protocols encompassing national and World Health Organisation guidelines,” SRC said.
Some of the sport codes classified as low-risk include cricket, golf, triathlon, tennis, motorsport, athletics, rowing and horse racing.
Football, which drew much of the disgruntlement after the ban on sports, will have to wait a little longer to resume, but SRC is likely going to give the national team a waiver to prepare for next month’s Cosafa Cup.
Local football resumed at the beginning of April while the Chibuku Cup began last month under strict observance of COVID-19 protocols and the competition appeared to be running smoothly until the weekend ban.
Only three COVID-19 cases during the first phase of the round- robin matches of the tournament were recorded since activities resumed.
But SRC left a small window for high-risk sports codes to apply for resumption.
“The SRC is in constant liaison with those sports codes not appearing on the above list, but having critical domestic and/or international commitments.
“Their respective situations are under active consideration on a case by case basis and any decision regarding their ability to resume or participate, as the case may be, will be communicated to them directly,” SRC added.
Rugby, netball, volleyball and basketball are in the same basket with football and have not been given the greenlight to resume.
“If any of the above activities are carried out at a sports club or other similar facility, bars and changing rooms are to remain closed and any available restaurants authorised to operate are to only accept takeaway orders.
“For the avoidance of doubt, gyms shall remain closed.
“All competitions must, however, still be applied for separately through the SRC, which will submit its recommendations to the minister for approval,” SRC said.
The SRC demanded that associations apply for permission to conduct local competitions at least 14 days prior to the intended competition while 30 business days apply for international competitions.
“No competition in Zimbabwe, or travel outside of Zimbabwe shall take place without the written authorisation of the Youth, Sport, Art and Recreation minister in consultation with the Health and Child Care minister,” the SRC said.
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