Sports

GSSSA hopes to roll out two sports in short order

The Government Secondary Schools Sports Association (GSSSA) is optimistic that it can get two sports off the ground despite the presence of the COVID-19 pandemic and national restrictions. There has not been any GSSSA sports competitions since March 2020.

GSSSA President Varel Davis said they were hoping to get school sports underway at the start of the 2020-2021 school year in September 2020.

This time last year, the GSSSA basketball competitions was in playoff mode, preparing for fiercely contested championships. This year Davis said they are focusing mainly on track and field.

“We believe since there will be the CARIFTA Track and Field Championships and maybe high school nationals as well, so we are looking to stage our GSSSA Track and Field Championships,” she said. “Also, our season is determined on when the Ministry of Education decides to go face-to-face. We can’t do anything without the kids back in school.”

In addition to track and field, Davis said the association wants the student-athletes also to participate in softball/baseball and volleyball.

As for when the schools will be opened face-to-face in New Providence, the Ministry of Education’s latest update posted earlier this week, stated that they are having discussions with the Ministry of Health in that regard. It was stated that after these discussions are concluded, then there will be a concrete date for the resumption of face-to-face learning.

Davis stated that they have the basic protocols in place and that it has been a difficult period for coaches and student-athletes.

“We have the basic protocols in place such as the wearing of face masks and hand sanitizing stations would be placed around the sporting fields or any venue we use. The three- to six-feet distance apart will be enforced. The regular protocols that are in place from the health officials will be enforced,” Davis said. “It’s been hard on coaches as well as our athletes during these times to not be able to do any training. Coaches are eager to get back to school so they could start training their athletes. The kids are asking as well when will sports resume?”

The league is hopeful that some after-school activities will commence in short order, particularly for 12th grade student-athletes who are looking for opportunities for athletic scholarships.

The two main sports that are actively competing at the club level under the Ministry of Health’s approval on the island of New Providence so far, are track and field and swimming.

Last school year, the GSSSA was able to complete the sporting disciplines of volleyball, basketball, cross country running and track and field before they were forced to stop sports completely because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Simba French

Simba joined The Nassau Guardian in 2012 as a technical producer for Guardian Radio 96.9 FM. He joined the Editorial Department as a sports reporter in 2018. Simba has covered a wide range of sports stories, including the 2018 CARIFTA in Nassau, Bahamas. Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism

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