The Sunday News
Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter
FOLLOWING the easing of lockdown regulations announced by President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Monday, the Government is on Wednesday expected to publish a statutory instrument with low risk sporting codes that are allowed to resume.
The Sports and Recreation Commission on Monday said the resumption of sports deemed low risk will resume after consultations with stakeholders.
“Further to the communication released on the 1st of March, 2021, the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) wishes to advise that on the 3rd of March, 2021, the Government of Zimbabwe will publish a Statutory Instrument authorising the resumption of those sports activities to be classified as ‘low risk’.
The determination of what constitutes ‘low risk’ sport remains the prerogative of the Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation (’the Minister’), as communicated to the relevant National Sports Association (‘NSA’) by the SRC, including the conditions to which such resumption will be subject to,’’ said the SRC.
Kirsty Coventry, the Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation will notify the SRC on which sporting codes are deemed to be low risk. National sports associations whose sporting codes fall under the low risk category will not be required to apply once more for authorisation to resume.
“Therefore, procedurally, upon the publishing of the said statutory instrument, the Minister will in the first instance, notify the SRC as to which sport disciplines have been classified as ‘low risk’. The SRC will then communicate directly with the NSA concerned notifying its categorisation as a ‘low-risk’ sport, and the conditions, if any, to which it should adhere to in resuming activity.
It shall not be necessary for the relevant NSA or sports discipline to apply afresh for resumption of activities after receiving the written notification from the SRC. All persons seeking to engage in the categorised ‘low-risk’ sport must engage their respective National Sport Association for guidance,’’ further stated the SRC.
It is only after the NSA has received communication from the SRC that they are allowed to resume sporting activity.
“For the avoidance of doubt, no NSA or sport discipline shall resume any activity until and unless it has received the said communication from the SRC and has confirmed receipt of the same along with the conditions stated therein. The SRC will publish the categorized ‘low risk’ sport for the information of the general public after notifying the relevant NSAs.”
Despite sporting activity being suspended in the country following the announcement of new lockdown regulations on 2 January, some sporting codes had been given permission to engage in international assignments. The SRC said those with such clearances will not be affected by the publishing of the statutory instrument.
Last year, archery, pool, swimming, athletics, rowing, equestrian, fencing, golf, polo, motorsport/BMX, shooting, tennis, chess, darts, drafts, goal ball (visually impaired), cricket and table tennis were classified as low risk sports.
According to the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation, low risk sports are the ones where there is no contact, where physical distancing is possible and there will be less risk if physical distancing is practiced by athletes and coaches.