- African Athletics Confederation (CAA) President Kalkaba Malboum has vowed to work on ways to ensure that athletics in Africa can survive similar disasters in the future as the Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the sports in Africa.
While half of the world is starting to ease its way out of lockdown, most countries in Africa are still awaiting the green light from their governments to resume normal day-to-day activities.
To thousands of athletes on the continent, that means being able to return to training facilities and competitions.
“During this pandemic, we’ve learned that we need to put in place a strategy in case we face another similar situation in the future,” Malboum said.
“Such a strategy should include advice from scientists about how athletes can continue to train in the event of a lockdown. We also need to find means of guaranteeing and maintaining commitments with sponsors and host countries in case of a force majeure,” he continued.
He pointed out that during this pandemic the rest of the world activities were stopped under country restriction.
“The only exception was Togo, where our AADC (African Area Development Centres) athletes have been able to keep on training as they were all living inside the center at the Kégué National Stadium.
“In some countries, such as Mauritius, athletes were able to resume training on 1 July. There are several expatriate athletes across our various training centers, but they’ve been able to go back home before returning in September to resume training when the athletics season restarts,” he said.
“For our top athletes, it has been very difficult for them to make a living,” he added.
It may be a while until the world has fully recovered from the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, but Kalkaba Malboum is determined to implement measures to ensure athletics in the continent is prepared for any eventualities.
“Several athletes thankfully benefitted from the fund set up by World Athletics. The CAA is also working to implement a permanent sports support fund in the event that we face a pandemic again in the future, so we have made a proposal to the African Union and ANOAA (Association of National Olympic Academies of Africa) to ensure that our sport is not jeopardized if such disasters occur again,” he concluded.