By Neto Baptiste
Minister for Education, Sports and Creative Industries, Daryll Matthew, has shot down talks of a possible return of inter-school competitions, warning that the government cannot afford to let its guard down amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is something that I feel very hurt about but the fact is that we are not living in normal times. We are still living in a pandemic and while things have been going relatively ok for us so far in Antigua and Barbuda. Now is not the time to drop our guard because we can become very complacent because we don’t see a skyrocketing number of cases of the COVID 19 but we just have to continue to hold strain,” he said.
Matthew was, at the time, speaking on the Observer AM show when he was asked about a possible return to school competitions during the just started second term.
The minister, a former president of the basketball association, said he understands the frustration of both the student athletes and their coaches but added that a return to competition would put the education system at risk.
“My coaches in the sports department I know they are frustrated, I know they are anxious, a little irritable at times that they are not able to do what they love and what they are employed to do but we just have to continue to hold strain at this point in time to insure that we do not allow through carelessness or complacency, COVID-19 to creep into our education system,” he said.
Competitions, at a national scale, were halted in March of 2020 after the country recorded its first case of the deadly virus.