With the sports industry preparing to adjust back to action, there has been concerns around health precautions to be taken during the preparation stage.
Researchers at the University of Pretoria have been looking for solutions which might assist gym bunnies and sports enthusiasts to take better precautions during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Although wearing masks might be challenging, according Professor Christa Janse van Rensburg, head of Sports Medicine in the Faculty of Health Sciences, and Dr Jessica Hamuy Blanco it is advisable to keep using cloth masks during exercise.
“This recommendation is based on the concept of ‘source control’ to prevent droplets produced by the person wearing the mask from spreading to other people or onto surfaces. It is much easier to reduce droplet spread by blocking larger droplets as they come out of a person’s mouth, than it is to block them once they have dissipated and become much smaller.”
In cases where the person has a febrile illness, Prof van Rensburg and Dr Blanco advised that no exercising should be done at all , especially with a mask on.
“When a person is ill and has a fever, there are various physiological mechanisms at play that will increase the risk of serious complications if the person exercises. A fever occurs as a result of an altered temperature in response to illness. This can affect the body’s appropriate temperature regulation during physical activity and increases the chances of dangerous complications such as heatstroke. Both illness and physical activity, particularly at high intensities, are a source of physiological stress on the body. When the two occur concurrently, there is potential for a multitude of complications in almost every organ system. These include an increased risk of skeletal muscle breakdown, electrolyte abnormalities, hyper-responsive airways, altered heart rhythms, and increased risk of sudden cardiac death,” she said.
Dr Blanco said that while it was almost impossible to determine what the future will hold in the world of sports, it is important to adapt and roll with the punches.
“I think one of the biggest ways in which sport may change, at least for the foreseeable future, is that we will have to sacrifice some of sport’s entertainment value for the sake of safety. We have to do our part to limit public exposure as much as possible. Fans who hope to attend live sporting competitions may have to wait a while before being able to do so. Technology will have to play a bigger role than before and could open up new revenue streams as income from ticket sales will inevitably decrease. For the financial model of the professional sporting world to survive, there are going to have to be new, innovative ways to engage with consumers. Professional sport involves a lot of travel to and from events, and this will have to be appropriately adapted to limit viral spread. Regulations will have to be closely adhered to,” she said.
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Varsity Cup, round 4
Varsity Cup teams have now reached the fourth round after an intense three rounds of matches. Leading on the log is the FNB Tuks with 15 points, one point ahead of the FNB Ikeys.
All four matches are set to take place on the 24th at 19:00, playing it out at the Tuks Stadium, Wits Rugby Stadium, UWC Stadium, and CUT Rugby Stadium.
Varsity Cup 2020
Varsity Cup gears up to start 2020. With 12 rounds of exiting matches, and nine teams to take it to the field yet again to battle for the top spot.
Round 1 starts today with the FNB UP-Tuks to play against FNB NWU at the Tuks staduim at 16:45 CAT.
WOMEN’S varsity basket ball to debut this year
Basket ball, a sport not that familiar on South African grounds to make it’s debut this year. This time around it’ll be women holding it down on varsity courts.
Wits Women’s captain Danja Lunnemann sees the potential of varsity basket to grow and develop basket ball in South Africa as well as women’s basketball within the country.
“Varsity Basketball is such a great platform for women to showoff their talent in never-ending fight to have women up there too at the same time. I’m just glad the women’s Varsity Basketball league had to wait only one year after the first ever men’s competition. We’re so excited to show off our talent and play the sport we love”, Lunnemann said.
Lunnemann said further said that, “Varsity ball is important because it adds extra growth to the development of basketball in South Africa generally. Varsity Basketball will show South Africa that there’s more talent out there. This is a great stepping stone to grow basketball in South Africa.”
Broadening the sports horizon is very important and to see how inclusive sports has become over the years, women are now given a platform to represent women in sports within South Africa.
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