Athletics boss please with efforts to keep athletes ready amidst Covid-19 unrest

President of the athletics association, Everton Cornelius (right) presents national athlete Joella Lloyd with an award during an athletics association ceremony held in 2017. (Social media photo)
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By Neto Baptiste

President of the Antigua and Barbuda Athletics Association (ABAA) and former national athlete, Everton Cornelius, said the body and its coaches have being doing their best to keep athletes focused and ready as the world continues to grapple with the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show, Cornelius expressed satisfaction in how the fraternity has handled the situation brought on by the virus since March this year.

“I think some people are putting extra to make sure we keep the athletes as safe as possible. We’re concerned about the social distancing and we even discussed in our meeting how we could go forward and have events next year if possible barring the government saying that we can’t but we would just have to adhere to that and just do nothing,” he said.

The country’s sports ministry issued an advisory in March this year that all competitive sports was being halted in an effort to curb the spread of the virus.

Since then, athletes have not been able to train in large groups and or travel for competitions.

Cornelius believes the situation has been a demotivation for some athletes.

“I want to believe that when you look forward to competition you are asking yourself, what am I training for? Taking into account all of the things you have heard like one time we might go forward and have the Olympics and then some people are saying we are not going. You’re also hearing our government are saying we are barring all sports so you would not be able to have any events and so these are the things that play on the psychological aspect of it that the athletes have to deal with,” he said.

Minister of Sports Daryll Matthew, has said it is highly unlikely that competitive sports will return this year.

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