The Western Cape Provincial Kickboxing Association is excited after they have received permission for a safe return to play from the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture last week.
The big winners for now, according to Josh Cloete, president of WC Kickboxing, are the coaches who felt the brunt of the effects of COVID-19 virus and the subsequent national lockdown that led to the banning of all sport activities in their pockets.
Coaching is for many of these coaches their only source of income and they suffered financially during the lockdown, so they welcomed the news.
Josh said most sport federations want to receive the green light to return to play and in their case many of their instructors are doing it as part of their livelihood, so it was good news for those guys.
It was a hectic three and a half months for those guys because they did not have any income for that period and also frustrating for the athletes, as they could not compete. During lockdown we had two online competitions in the non-contact categories of the sport so that brought a bit of relief to the athletes who specialise in that specific discipline of kickboxing, explained Josh.
But for the contact guys it was still very frustrating, but everybody understands the situation. It is not something we can get irritated with. There are always ways that we can do further training – that was always the case, for us to keep fit until we can resume with business.
You must understand the nature of our sport is contact and there is only one mode where we do not have contact and that is musical forms. They can start competing again, but even if they do, they cannot have spectators so we are not considering competitions at this stage.
We are obviously very ecstatic about the fact we can start with training again and that provides our instructors also the opportunity to earn an income.
Josh was glad to say that some clubs and dojos have all the protocols for a return to play as prescribed by the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture in place already. The protocols they need to adhere to are similar to those in place for most companies. We have submitted our operational plan to the sports ministry and because of that we got permission to resume training.
Dojos and clubs are expected to have all measurements in place – such as hand sanitisers everywhere, infrared thermometers for temperature screening, COVID-19 indemnity forms that need to be signed by everyone walking through the door, group training restricted to five members at any given time, cloakroom should be sanitised, and they should have a Covid-19 compliance certificate that gives them the right to resume training.
Cloete added that SA Kickboxing took the decision that – because of the nature of the pandemic – they will not be pushing for any competitions for the rest of the year. The challenge they have to deal with is that spectators at competitions are mostly elderly people who are coming to watch a child or grandchild and they are in the high-risk category.
The situation, however, might change if the environment changes but for now the decision is that no competitions will be held for the rest of the year.
Meanwhile, they will use this time to advance their sport. Just last week, for instance, the SA Kickboxing Medical Board of Control was established. They are looking at getting some other things and policies in place now and are offering online courses for their coaches and getting administrators capacitated.