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Making do
SPRINT STANDOUT: Kamaria Durant competes in the women's 200 metres event at the 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, last October.Ê - Photo:ÊGetty Images

Making do

Covid-19 restrictions not stopping Simplex athletes

Go Back : Express : Kwame Laurence : 01.10.2020

Simplex Athletic Club head coach Gunness Persad has adjusted to the challenges created by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) 2019 Alexander B Chapman Award recipient told the Express that while his athletes have no access to tracks and gyms because of Covid restrictions, preparation for 2021 continues.

We have started training for next season - at home and at grounds. I send weekly workouts to all athletes to do at home. We are starting hill workouts, so if there are grass hills where they live I will send the workout. If they choose to come to Marabella, no problem, but we staggered times. There will not be more than four athletes at any given time, and social distancing will be adhered to.

Professional athletes, Machel Cedenio and Keston Bledman are members of Simplex, but are based in Florida, and have competed in the United States in recent months. But for another world class Simplex athlete, home-based Kamaria Durant, Covid-19 has resulted in an entire season without competition.

We missed the opportunity to compete, said Persad, "after good off-season preparation. Leah Bertrand and Chazz Alexander have also been affected in terms of the opportunity to get scholarships. But I think the National Association of Athletics Administrations (NAAA) called off the 2020 season early out of an abundance of caution. Everyone was scared of the effects of Covid-19."

Persad, who has served as a national coach for many years, said he does not expect the global pandemic to spoil the 2021 athletics season.

The Olympics and Carifta Games will go on as planned. I think we will get a vaccine before the end of the year, or early 2021, Persad ended, "and the world will get back to normalcy."