Wednesday, 13 October 2021 19:59

Athletics South Africa embarks on massive vaccination drive.

Staff Reporter.

Athletics South Africa has begun a massive health drive as we welcome the limited return of spectators to the stadiums.

On Monday 11 October, the Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa announced a maximum of 2000 spectators outdoors and 750 indoors are now allowed to attend live sporting events at venues. This followed the country’s move down to Level 1 of the Disaster Management Acct on the Corona Virus pandemic.

The return of fans is with immediate effect for all athletics events.

For ASA, however, the fight against the pandemic goes on and will undertake a mega drive to push for all athletics stakeholders to join hands to vaccinate everyone in order to go back to the minister to motivate for these numbers to be increased by presenting proof that the Athletics Family is fully vaccinated.

The ASA Marathon Championships which is incorporated into the Cape Town Marathon on Sunday, is therefore, earmarked as the appropriate event to kick-start this effort.

Together with hosts, Western Province Athletics, ASA has partnered with the Western Cape Health Department to setup vaccination sites at the finish to provide on-the-spot service. This service will be available for first time jabs, where official documents (including the ID) will be required. For those requiring their second jabs, an official document and the Covid 19 Vaccination Card issued after first jab, will be required.

This Athletics robust medical venture is part of an effort to have the majority of South Africans vaccinated so that with proof we can convince Minister Mthethwa that Athletics has fully vaccinated and therefore ready to take in more fans at the stadiums.

"Firstly, we must thank the minister and his government for bringing our fans back to the stadiums," said James Moloi, the President of ASA. "It is now up to us as the Athletics Family to stage a full war against the Covid 19 pandemic that has affected our sporting lives and also changed how we live and do things.

"Each one of us must share this responsibility and we all desperately need to return to normality. We are therefore calling for all Athletes, Coaches, Technical Officials, Staff, officials to lead the way by vaccinating. We want the return of fans to watch and support our events to be a normal thing.

"We want all our Member Associations to extend this drive by inviting the Department of Health in their respective provinces to set-up vaccinations sites to provide this service during their calendar of athletics activities"

"We have already begun another process where we have requested Members to encourage their Athletes, Coaches and Technical Officials to provide proof of vaccination in particular ahead of the event in Cape Town this weekend as part of this drive."