5 ways of returning to play sports safely post pandemic
Updated: Jul 17
Let’s face it.
You dream of the cheering.
You dream of the tackling and the chasing. You can even smell the sweat.
And for the first time, sweat almost smells sweet. Can you believe it? Your feet are itchy to run and kick the ball. Your hands are trembling to hold the rackets. Wait. It's been too long. Can you even remember how to play our favorite sports? Football? Tennis? Badminton? Nah. Sports is like riding a bike, you will never forget it. Maybe you need to warm up a little more, but nothing can take sports out of you. Not the virus. Not the zombie attack. Not anything. But wait. Even when the pandemic is over, it is still not clear how safe we are. But hey life has to go on right? Sports life must continue! The show must go on! It's actually very simple. If we play our part by following the SOP’s our risk of infecting Covid-19 is low. But you say it's impossible to keep safe when it comes to sports. Nope, there are actually a lot of ways to keep safe at the same time being able to play your favorite sport.
1. Keep a small group
Whether you’re playing badminton, futsal or tennis, keep your group as small as you can, and yes, this includes your team’s friends or families or girlfriends or boyfriends or supporters. The smaller your group is, the lower your risk of getting infected with the virus. You need to remind your team mates the same thing too. Play with your close friends, so that you know where all of you have been. This way, if anything happens, contact tracing process gets easier.
2. Plan ahead with online booking
Contactless payment has been widely used around the world way before the Covid-19 pandemic started. But in 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that banknotes have a possibility of spreading the virus. So now, online booking and payment have officially become the new norm. It has basically turned into an essential solution for many businesses to ensure safety to their customers in combating this pandemic. Not only is online booking and payment safer than going to the counter, it has also been proven to be more secure (no you don’t have to worry about double booking!). Athlete for Athletes is one of the best when it comes to online payment and booking. With more than 45 sports venues with them, their easy to use app will make your booking process smooth and easy! You can download their app at Athletes for Athletes. So let’s go back to our passion but let’s stay safe!
3. Follow SOP
Yes, it is the new norm. If you want to get back in the court, follow the SOP. Some of the recommended ones by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are:
Bring your own equipment; gloves, head gear, helmets, water bottles, bats or rackets.
Stay at least 6 feet away from other players. If you’re playing tennis or badminton, there is certainly no reason for you to high five or fist bump. But if you’re playing contact sports like futsal, try your best not to touch your opponents or your team mates!
Clean and sanitize your hands before and after your game.
Wear your mask. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the usage of a mask that covers your nose and mouth. And you’re wondering, how do you wear a mask during sports? There’re many sports masks being sold out there, all you need to do is just choose the right one for you!
4. Book your space during non-peak times
Now that many of us are still on WFH, and we predict this culture is probably going to stay for a while, why not try your best to book your space during non-peak times. You may choose a random half day at work to play your favorite sport. Or maybe even an early morning on a weekend. During these times, sports centers are less crowded. Less crowded equals to less people also equals to less infection! Plus many sports venues offer cheaper rates during non-peak hours. So, that’s not only safer for all of us, but also cost effective.
5. Be on time and finish on time
Malaysians are friendly people. We like to chill with our friends before and after our game. We talk about our family, our job and even the game itself. We discuss our problems to the people who we connect with. That’s what sports do. It connects people. It's in our culture. It's in our blood. Unfortunately, that tradition has to be put on hold temporarily. Don’t linger around the court before and after your booking time. Cut down on the socializing time. The longer the socializing is, the riskier it gets. Let’s get the talking done on a zoom call, because for now, that’s just better for our physical health and mental health. And not to forget that it's better for everyone around us too!