Unpopular sports could benefit during this time – Benjamin

Culture Minister Daryll Matthew
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By Carlena Knight

Unpopular individual sports could thrive during this time says head coach of the Liberta Blackhawks Football Club, Rowan ‘Porridge’ Benjamin.

Benjamin, while speaking on the Good Morning JoJo Sports show on Wednesday, is of the opinion that sports like rifling which do not carry a large fan base like football could take advantage of the current situation if given the opportunity to compete.

Presently, sports are only allowed to be played recreationally in the country due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

In earlier reports, Sports Minister Daryll Matthew even shared that the possibility of sports being played competitively this year is quite slim, but Benjamin believes that this stance is stifling a number of individual sports.

The Schools Football coordinator is suggesting that these individual sports be given the green light to compete, and the opportunity could be used to market themselves as “there is nothing to watch on tv in regards to sports.”

“What I am more or less confused about, if those individual sports like rifling are something that can be controlled, and you know what is happening there? These sports are losing the opportunity to sell themselves, because all you would need is say ‘ok, rifling can have a competition,’ then they just get the TV cameras there and so on. They can either replay or show it live to an audience so these sports here are missing this opportunity because compared to team sports – cricket, football, netball, these sports get lost, so I believe it is something that can be looked at, in helping these sports in these times,” said Benjamin.

The former national football coach also added his voice to the ongoing discussion raised by many in the public over the reasoning used to determine why no sports can be competitively played.

He says that although he is confused by the regulations for recreational sports, as the numbers of persons playing team sports at sporting facilities are alarming, he does understand the stance of the government regarding competitive games.

“One thing we must not look over with the competitions, especially with team sports not being played, is because of the spectatorship and we should not forget that. I don’t think it’s a problem with controlling a match with two teams, but it’s the spectators that will become a problem. There will be spectators because some of those fields are open, so we are trying to avoid that situation,” he added.

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