Donovan Jurgens, Acting President, South African Gymnastics Federation
The SAGF welcomes the publication of the “Directions” for sport as contained in Government Gazette 43434 issued by the Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture, Minister Mthethwa on 11 June 2020.
We would like to thank and acknowledge the tireless work that the Minister and his department has done to put these directions together. Over the last few weeks there has been positive engagement with the Minister and his officials and department and it is extremely heartening to note that our input as the SA Gymnastics Federation and the sporting fraternity at large was considered. Through these directions many coaches can return to our gyms across the country. More importantly, these “Directions” clear the way for many children and youth to start reclaiming their lives. The impact of sport not only on the physical health but moreover the mental health of our nation should never be underestimated.
We are cognisant of the fact that it is not back to business as usual, that limited numbers of gymnasts will be allowed to return to training and competitions under restricted conditions. We remain committed as an organisation to join government in fighting this pandemic. Many hours of work have gone into our risk mitigation strategy which we will submit today. Our strategy is not compliance driven. Our strategy is aimed at keeping our coaches, parents and gymnasts safe and to curb the spread of the pandemic.
We appeal to all members of the gymnastics fraternity to adhere to the various measures we have out in place. We have made available various materials including online training, posters, even an App that simplifies the health screening process. We need everybody to work together so that we can return to normal as soon as humanely possible.
Our measures include appointing compliance officers across South Africa and a national task team inclusive of medical professionals. We remain at the disposal of the Minister and his officials and we are working closely with other non-contact federations so that we have a united and uniform approach to landing a knockout blow to the formidable opposition, COVID 19.