Now it’s a race against the clock

Jesse Josias on his way to the finish line in the mens 4x100m sprint event at Saturdays WP Junior championships, at Parow Stadium. Athletics South Africa has postponed all athletics events for 30 days.

It’s hardly surprising that in light of efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus that various events, including sporting events, have been called off or postponed.

It was only a matter of time before the virus spread to our shores. And, with not a minute to waste, organisers of events, big and small, decided on a course of action to minimise the impact of the virus.

Earlier this year, Covid-19, commonly referred to as coronavirus, broke out in Wuhan, China, and, in a matter of weeks, spread across the world.

In his address to the nation on Sunday, President Cyril Ramaphosa also noted that, following consultations, the government decided to take drastic measures to manage the disease, protect South Africans and reduce its impact on the economy.

President Ramaphosa encouraged social distancing, to prevent sick people from coming into close contact with healthy people in order to reduce opportunities for disease transmission.

Gatherings of more than 100 people are prohibited.

This has a direct impact on sports activities, whether major or minor events.

Killarney International Raceway and the Western Province Motor Club conveyed their support to the drastic steps taken to curb the spread of the Covid-19.

In a statement, the Killarney International Raceway, on behalf of the Western Province Motor Club, said all motor racing events, including the Power Series, Drags, Short Circuit, Karting, Robot Racing and Street2Strip have been suspended until further notice.

However, open testing sessions on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays will continue but will be limited to a maximum of 50 drivers/riders.

The track also remains available for hire on weekdays and including the next three Saturdays.

Regarding soccer, at the grassroots level for instance, Safa Cape Town president Bennett Bailey told False Echo that Safa Cape Town-sanctioned league games and tournaments have been postponed since Monday March 16.

“National (Safa) indicated they will issue a statement to postpone all games indefinitely and it will be reviewed after 14 days. Depending on how the country handles this then we will be able to continue,” he said.

“We are very fortunate that we do not have a fatality from the virus.

“So let us try and support the cause of the president. We ask everyone to stay healthy and follow advice from the health department.

“And if they can exercise at home, they should do so, while innovating, staying fit, clean and healthy,” said Bailey.

The Bayhill Under-19 Premier Cup, which has been running for more than 30 years now, has been cancelled.

The draw for the Easter weekend soccer spectacle took place last week.

Tournament director, PJ Williams confirmed the cancellation of the tournament, on Tuesday morning.

“The Bayhill Premier Cup is saddened that the event will be cancelled, but we are proud to be supporting the cause of an entire nation and ultimately the cause of the global human population. The situation would have an adverse effect on people travelling to and from the event.”

In other news, the South African Baseball Union announced the postponement of the national championships that were due to take place at Chukker Road this weekend.

Western Province Rugby Football Union president, Zelt Marais, said rugby at all levels in the province has been postponed for the next three to four weeks.

“We are very concerned about the well-being of our spectators and the sport.

“It’s not a provincial but a national challenge so we will work together with the president and the World Health Organisation,” said Marais.