Athletics Malta joined the Aquatic Sports Association of Malta, the Malta Basketball Association and the Malta Football Association in appealing to the government and the local health authorities to allow competitive events to resume within the parameters of reasonable safety.
“As the three sport associations have correctly mentioned, sport and physical recreation has been consistent in resulting in one of the lower categories for transmission and contamination,” Athletics Malta said.
“Furthermore, due to Athletics Malta always taking all the necessary precautions necessary to ensure a safe sporting environment, we believe that our track and field athletes’ face far less risk than any contact sport or sport practiced indoors.
“It is therefore disappointing that sport will not feature in the first round of restrictons that will be removed.”
Athletics Malta said that it is aware that sports is the only tool during this pandemic which can minimise the impact on the mental health of the community at large.
“This goes hand in hand with the several NGOs (such as the Richmond foundation) statements concluding that the pandemic scarred the mental health of the entire nation,” it added.
“As its fellow sporting associations, Athletics Malta believes that senior national team events must be the first events to be allowed, as older athletes are more aware of the risks involved.”
On his part, Athletics Malta president Andy Grech said: “Given our long list of international events are scheduled to commence at the start of June, Athletics Malta believes that it is the right time to re-commence events, whilst always keeping the safety of our athletes, officials and coaches’ safety paramount.
“One should always keep in mind that international events are our main priority, our athlete’s technical training sessions are simply not enough to ensure their ability to perform on an international stage”.
Grech added that “unfortunately, this blockade of competitive sport is giving our competitors a far larger advantage than they already have. Should government entities intend on taking local sport to the next level, we urge all stakeholders involved their decisions be reversed as soon as possible”.