Photo: Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has called for a resumption of sports in Jamaica
Two-time Olympic and four-time World 100m Champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, in a social media publication, made it very clear that she is not in support of some stakeholder's viewpoint to push back the Government's decision to restart sporting events locally. Sports was halted early last year due to the novel coronavirus and several major sporting events had to be postponed or cancelled.
Notably, Fraser-Pryce said that "some stakeholders in the national conversation" had urged the government to withhold the starting blocks of all sporting events to be held because of the new spike in COVID-19 cases on the island. She continued to dismiss any claims that intended to suggest that there is a link between any local sporting event and the new rise in COVID-19 cases.
“Some stakeholders in the national conversation have bluntly said that in light of the COVID-19 cases spike in Jamaica, the Government should hold off on granting permission to prospective sporting events..." she stated.
Fraser-Pryce's public discourse came subsequent to Opposition Spokesman on Health, Dr. Morais Guy's recent comments, calling the government to reassess their decision on giving the green light to resume sporting events. He went on further to state that this decision may contribute to an upsurge in the COVID-19 case throughout the island.
The sprint queen stated that it is possible to create a structure for sporting events to be held in the future while implementing protocols that would protect athletes.
"Additionally, I do not think it is beyond us to separate elite athletes and limit the amount of competition per Track and Field meet while at the same time allowing for some meaningful resumption of events," she added.
She also stated that several sporting events overseas have taken place during the pandemic and that this was done with the institutionalization of proper protocols. She believes that Jamaica can also mimic these structures and be able to kick start our local sporting events once more.
"I am confident it is not beyond us here in Jamaica to put in place s similar systems to limit the risk of COVID-19 spread while at the same time allowing for reasonable resumption on the Sports industry which has contributed so much to Brand Jamaica."
The Pocket Rocket Foundation founder wrote that there are athletes who are struggling financially and that she is calling for intervention for additional assistance to be given to them.
"I urge the authorities to bear in mind that many participants in the Sports Industry in Jamaica cannot go overseas to compete. The mandatory two week quarantine requirement upon return is not feasible and there's no funding mechanism in place to assist those who are struggling badly due to a lack of finances."
"I also believe there is room to call for genuine additional support to be given to assist the athletes and other participants in the Sports Industry," she added.
Fraser-Pryce believes that it is in the best interest of athletes and the world's psychological benefit along with all those who depend on the sporting industry, that we should move past the talks of pushing back the resumption of sporting events.