By Carlena Knight
President of the Antigua and Barbuda Cricket Association (ABCA) Leon ‘Kuma’ Rodney has reiterated calls for all sportsmen and sportswomen to get vaccinated.
Rodney was speaking on the cusp of the news that the Ministry of Health turned down the ABCA’s invitation to set up a vaccine booth at their upcoming two-day tournament.
Despite the news, the cricketing head is still encouraging all athletes to get the jab.
“We are hounding anybody, but we believe that it is important for sportsmen and sportswomen to go and get vaccinated so we can see competition on the fields again and again; if you intend to travel as a sportsperson, except if I am sure, you are in the Rastafarian community and so forth where you would get an exemption, but even though you get an exemption from home, there is no guarantee that you will be let in to another man’s country on that exemption. So, I want to take the opportunity and still encourage all sportsmen and sportswomen to go and get vaccinated wherever you can,” Rodney said.
The reason why the health officials declined the ABCA’s invitation was not disclosed, according to Rodney. This, he says, is a missed opportunity by the officials.
“I believe that we would have had a reasonable turnout of people who would want to be vaccinated. Maybe even people who are not sportsmen and sportswomen who are not yet vaccinated would have turned up to the grounds, but that’s what they choose to do,” he added.
The Vax 8 tournament will be the first cricket competition since February this year when the Caribbean Union Bank (CUB) Bethesda Golden Eagles captured the ABCA Super 40 title in Bethesda.
Teams taking part in the December 18-19 competition will be grouped in two zones of six, with the top four advancing to the semi-finals and finals to be played at the Pigotts playing field.
The tournament is only open to fully vaccinated players.