In a press conference held in the Ciudad Deportiva, senior officials of the National Institute of Sports, Physical Education and Recreation (Inder) offered details of actions being carried out by the organization, to safeguard athletes, coaches and federations, and to preserve the material resources at different facilities.
Inder Vice President Ariel Saínz reported that Cuba’s central sports institution continues to comply with government measures to confront the Covid-19 pandemic.
In this spirit, being implemented is a second stage of the action plan, in which all national and international sports activities scheduled here through May 30 were suspended. This period included a total of 126 projected athletic events.
“Athletes and students enrolled in our different schools and High Performance Training Centers have already been sent home. In the next few hours all staff will return to their respective homes,” Saínz stated.
He also reported that contact is maintained with headquarters in all provinces, to stay abreast of athletes’ health conditions, as well as that of their family members. With this reorganization and suspension of sports activities, disabled athletes are also receiving regular follow-up attention, to facilitate travel to their homes and redesign their physical training.
At the press conference, it was specified that the 60th National Baseball Series will undergo a change in its regular season schedule, which will be announced after this obligatory break. The National Baseball Directorate is working on the new schedule.
As sports-education centers are recessed, the management personnel of these facilities have conducted inventories to ensure effective control of the material resources stored at these sites.
Saínz noted that the health emergency has had a serious impact on the athletes’ training, as well as a costly economic impact, since funds have been spent to prepare to participate in the Tokyo Olympic Games.
TIME FOR SELF-IMPROVEMENT
José Cedeño, general director of the Sports for All program, referred to the work of sports centers at this stage, noting that the country’s 573 existing facilities will cooperate with Inder measures to combat the new virus.
All teachers, heads of department and methodologists linked to physical activity, sports and recreation will use this time for professional and methodological development, and to update their class and training plans. They also need to adjust their coaching mechanisms for systematic practitioners and athletes under their supervision.
This period will also serve as an opportunity to update attendance records, evaluate each student-athlete, attend to the preparation of class plans and the development of theses for those who are in the final stages of their studies at Physical Education schools (EPEF), in the Physical Culture Bachelor’s degree program, as well as others who are concluding postgraduate, master’s and doctoral programs.
Cedeño stated that the obligatory closing of sites can facilitate efforts for repair and maintenance of areas and facilities where the population normally enjoys physical exercise. This includes the maintenance and cleaning that these spaces require, which for many years have guaranteed broad participation in sports and a large pool of potential high performance athletes.
Professionals at our centers can also devote time to the preparation and repair of teaching materials and sports equipment used daily by students. This will allow us, to provide higher quality services, when everything returns to normal, the director concluded.