JC Coach Ferguson wants COVID-19 task force for sports


JC Coach Ferguson wants COVID-19 task force for sports

Observer staff reporter

Friday, May 29, 2020

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Jamaica College Head Coach Davion Ferguson welcomed news that Minister of Sport Olivia Grange is in dialogue with various sporting bodies, a move that is in keeping with his suggestion that there is a need to have a task force in place to plan the course forward for the smooth return of sports as soon as possible.

With the Government currently relaxing restrictions to restore the economy amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Grange, in a recent interview, pointed out that her team is exploring ways the sports industry can resume its functions in Jamaica. She said once protocols have been decided on, they will be shared with associations for further input.

A number of local sporting events, including the prestigious ISSA/GraceKennedy Boy's and Girls' Athletics Championships, the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) and horseracing, among others, have been cancelled or put on hold due to the infectious virus.

At the time of wiriting, Jamaica had 564 confirmed COVID-19 cases, and nine deaths.

“I think we have to give the Government credit for their handling of the virus thus far. They have done a great job in my mind and we are starting to see some relaxing of the restrictions, which I am in total agreement with. But I was starting to wonder why I haven't heard anything about sports, amateurs and professionals and I have seen task force for all other sectors,” said Ferguson.

“It was always my belief that the ministry of sports and entertainment, with the authority of the prime minister, should appoint members to a task force, which will develop a plan for when and how sports and entertainment can be returned when it's safe to do so. So I think it is good that the discussions have started,” he told the Jamaica Observer.

While optimistic that the uncertainty surrounding sport will be done with soon, to restore some semblance of normality to the livelihood of all those who depend on it, Ferguson is also aware of the importance of keeping the athletes, coaches, staff and fans safe.

“The coronavirus is impacting all aspects of society across the world, and with cancellations, delays and cutbacks, the global sports industry is significantly affected. But it's a special situation, which we are all aware of and so we just have to be mindful as we try to get back to pace with things. But I believe that over time we will recover,” Ferguson opined.

The tactician, who has been regarded as one of the regions brightest young coaches, said he has not been overly perturbed by the COVID-induced break.

“I am teacher, so I have had my classes online and I also enrolled in a few short coaching courses in Europe, so I have been fairly busy. The players and I keep regular contact, we have our groups, and trainer sends out programmes for them to complete. I also have players in a Google Classroom where we look at different aspect of our game model, to get players to understand the game better,” Ferguson shared.

Meanwhile, Ferguson, who had a fairly successful first season with Jamaica College, ending with Manning Cup triumph, is looking forward to defending the crown later this year, all things equal.

“Well, I personally hope and think it's a huge possibility that we will have football. We are doing well as a country so far where the virus is concerned, and I believe if we continue to listen to the authorities, we will be able to go back to doing what we love soon,” he noted.

“If schools are reopened in September, I think we will have a competition by October at earliest. However, parents will be key to this happening, because if they refuse to send their kids to school or to training, it will reduce the possibility,” the former national youth coach ended.

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