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DSYA encourages coaches, officials amidst Covid-19

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The Division of Sport and Youth Affairs recognises the challenging climate faced by members of the sporting fraternity during the global Covid-19 pandemic. At this time, all local sporting activities remain temporarily suspended and top-tier international competitions such the CARIFTA Games and the 2020 Olympics have also been postponed in a bid to reduce the spread of the Novel Coronavirus.

This setting, presents a unique opportunity to strengthen the capabilities of sporting personnel through the implementation of alternative methods to maintain conditioning, increase physical literacy and enjoy the benefits of enriching recreation. As such, the Division is encouraging coaches and other sporting officials to keep the momentum going.

Technical Director of Sport, Lyndell Hoyte-Sanchez shares, “During this pandemic, maintaining mental and physical health is key. The two often go hand in hand as physical activity can relieve stress, anxiety, depression and negative emotions. Therefore, athletes at all levels and members of the general public are encouraged to stay active. With the guidelines given by public health authorities to stay at home, the possibility of adapting training programmes to continue within the home environment should be explored, with special emphasis placed on maintaining peak physical fitness. Innovation and creativity are encouraged to keep athletes motivated.”

Hoyte-Sanchez added, “Members of the public can also undertake simple exercises such as skipping rope, doing jumping jacks or anything else that can be accommodated in available spaces as a means of staying active. Online workouts may also be utilized to add excitement to a routine.” Coaches may also benefit from the following tips:

  • Keep in regular contact with your charges to monitor their progress, identify and assist with any issues as may be required.
  • Be flexible with your methods. Utilise digital communication tools like WhatsApp and Zoom.
  • Take a holistic approach. Ensure that not only physical health is targeted, but mental, emotional and other facets as well.
  • Reinforce the Covid-19 guidelines given by public health officials. This includes: proper hygiene, staying at home and social distancing.
  • Lean on the relevant professional networks and resources for support.
  • Remember to take the time to look after your own well-being also. Consider an online class.

The Division of Sport and Youth Affairs remains committed to the provision of resources, technical and administrative support for the benefit of all stakeholders during this challenging time.