National athletes continue training amid COVID-19 outbreak

Fadhil Yunus

National athletes in the Sultanate have been training continuously not through conventional forms but guided by technology as the sporting community takes a hit from the COVID-19 pandemic.

This was said by Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin during a press conference at the Al-‘Afiah Hall yesterday.

The minister also shared that training is still continuously held through “unknown ways” especially with the aid of technology.

“The role of the national coaches is to ensure that continuous training is given to all national athletes in a different form. I think they use technology to an extent in order to monitor our athletes,” the minister said.

Team sports and organised sports are severely affected by the pandemic when it comes to adapting to the new style of training.

“There are great challenges. When you talk about team sports, it is quite difficult. When you talk about contact sports or skills, it is not as easy. But when you talk about fitness, we are able to ensure that their fitness levels are continuously being monitored and trained,” he added.

“It is still a challenge but training still continues for our national athletes. The technology is being used quite extensively by both our coaches and athletes.”

For example in wushu, if you talk about aerial displays or training, you’ll need a mattress or so on. It is a challenge but it is through unknown ways that training is continuously conducted.”

The minister also added that the biggest competition that the country is gearing for this year is the Sukma Games for the under-21 athletes.

“We need to prepare for Sukma. It is being moved from July to March next year,” he said.

The national golfers will be able to attend training sessions following the announcement of the re-opening of golf courses, as part of the first phase of re-opening sports facilities and complexes.

“With the golf courses now open, our national golf athletes can train. Perhaps some of the national athletes can also train with the re-opening of the indoor facilities on a solo basis.”

Meanwhile, team and organised sports, as well as contact sports, are still not allowed.

“The sports that are restricted are team sports so football and basketball are still restricted. Sports such as pencak silat and taekwondo are also not allowed.”