SportsFederation BY SIMON KESLEP Sports federations need to take ownership in advocating their affiliates to abide under the Covid-19 safety measures, says PNG Sports Foundation chief medical officer Dr Kapua Kapua. “The federations need to take ownership, they need to be the ones advocating to their affiliates and empowering them to mitigate the risks as per their protocols. “It is their sport, their community, their family, their athletes at risk. We, as the Pandemic Management Committee has always been to get these sports back online in Covid-19 safe environment and not stopping them from restarting competitions,” said Dr Kapua, who is also the chairman of PNG Sports Foundation Pandemic Management Committee. Dr Kapua’s advice to affiliated associations is to adhere to their sporting federations Covid-19 protocols and start practising the new normal and safeguard their communities. “Be the advocate for health and safety and the fight against Covid-19 in the new normal. No matter what sport you play, it is a powerful movement. A movement that can deliver awareness, change, understanding and cooperation, this is the new normal and Covid-19 is here to stay so let us be the movement preventing and protecting,” said Dr Kapua. The PNG Sports Foundation Pandemic Control committee has been given authority over the resources under the foundation which includes venues, protocols approval, etc. Dr Kapua said the committee has direct contact with Office of the Pandemic Controller and has sought assistance with policy and clarity on Controller’s Orders as needed. He said sports federations just need to tweak their protocols similar with what their international federations have done into PNG setting and submit. The committee meets every week to vet proposals with key aspects like Adherence to Sports International Federations protocols if available, Covid-19 protocols, Return to Competition protocols, club and club training protocols if applicable, representative teams and athletes protocols and registration of all participants. “Not all sports can employ the same measures stringently across the board. For example social distancing would be easy for archery but near impossible for rugby. Thus each sport would have to be assessed individually and recommendations made accordingly,” said Dr Kapua. Sporting federation given approval so far include Cricket, Rugby League, Soccer, Volleyball, Swimming, Rugby Union, Archery, AFL, Basketball, Netball, Golf, Triathlon and Weightlifting.