Robinson anxious for netball resumption
President Tricia Robinson says Netball Jamaica is growing frustrated as it is yet to be granted permission from the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) for the Sunshine Girls to return to contact training.
The Sunshine Girls, who are ranked fourth in the world, are preparing virtually for the Commonwealth Games next year.
Teams around the world, including World champions New Zealand, who recently played a series against Australia, have begun full contact training. The Vitality Netball Superleague is now under way in England, while Suncorp Super Netball in Australia is scheduled to begin in 17 days time while there have been no netball competitions in Jamaica for more than a year.
However, England, New Zealand and Australia have all had improvements in the situations regarding COVID-19 in recent time after the start of vaccination distribution in each country, while Jamaica is experiencing a high contraction rate despite the launch of its vaccination project over a month ago.
Robinson said the Sunshine Girls are behind in their preparations for the Commonwealth Games and this has been having an effect on the team.
"We are still awaiting our approvals from ODPEM and this has hampered our programme because all the other countries are playing except for us," she said.
"I haven't gotten a timeline as to when, so we are just still awaiting the approvals to go on court to train.
Robinson said a number of players have become exhausted that they are unable to go out and train with their teammates on a daily basis.
"They are training virtually and it is natural that some amount of fatigue would set in, in terms of not being able to train the way they are used to, so we just have to hold tight until we get the approval," she said.
However, sports medicine physician Dr Akshai Mansingh said Jamaica's difficulty in reducing the rate of infection is making it difficult for the Government to grant any sporting organisation approval for the resumption of sports.
"You just have to understand that we are probably in the worst part of our crisis in the pandemic in terms of daily cases and community spread," he said.
"No contact sports are fairly safe and unfortunately netball is among the high contact sports which has the highest change of spreading the virus among its peers.
"Generally, if you have to have any sort of high contact sports, then it has to be done in some sort of a biosecure bubble."