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CANA swimming event postponed, USF ready for post COVID-19

By Michael Nsubuga

Added 18th August 2020 10:58 PM

Uganda was going to host the region’s top swimmers from different countries, but like most of the other sporting events around the world, that will not be possible due to the rampant Coronavirus pandemic.

CANA swimming event postponed, USF ready for post COVID-19

Nabil Saleh in action in a past CANA event in Uganda. Photo by Michael Nsubuga

Uganda was going to host the region’s top swimmers from different countries, but like most of the other sporting events around the world, that will not be possible due to the rampant Coronavirus pandemic.

The 6th CANA Zone III Swimming Championships in Kampala in November was one of the major activities on the Uganda Swimming Federation (USF) calendar this year.

Uganda was going to host the region's top swimmers from different countries, but like most of the other sporting events around the world, that will not be possible due to the rampant Coronavirus pandemic.

According to the USF president Moses Mwase, this year's event will not be possible because of the prevailing conditions.

"We have agreed to seek a postponement of the CANA event noting that realistically it will be impossible to have Member Countries participate effectively nor can we mobilize sponsorship under these conditions," Mwase noted.

"We will request CANA Zone III Bureau to consider a postponement," he stated.

About the local events that are still under lockdown, Mwase said they were going to review and decide on what competitions they can hold before the end of the year and noting that swimmers will need 2-3 months to come back to fitness. 

"When a decision is taken, we will follow the strict Guidelines & Safe Operating Procedures (SOPs) to ensure public safety and prevention,"

Asked whether they be will mass testing for the different swimmers before incase of the reopening of sports Mwase said this will not happen unless it turns into a government requirement.

"We will task those that feel they might have reason to test to do so. Testing is being done by the Government at approved facilities and is free. We will continue ensuring that our members remain compliant and observe the SOPs," 

Mwase said the USF has already purchased the necessary gadgets like temperature guns after receiving financial support from NCS, to enable them to be compliant with the guidelines.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in March several USF events were postponed and some of these included the CANA Zone IV Championships in Botswana, Olympic qualifying events, national swimming sprints among other local and international events.

"We empathize with all our swimmers and ask them not to get frustrated. Tomorrow will be a brighter day when the lockdown is finally lifted. But most importantly, I ask them to observe all government guidelines necessary for us all to fight and defeat the COVID-9 pandemic," Mwase observed earlier on.

The USF has prepared Guidelines and SOPs based on the latest information available from the Ministry of Health (MOH), the National Council of Sports (NCS), FINA, World Health Organization (WHO), and recommendations/adopted practices from several National Federations.

The Guidelines/SOPs have been put in place to supplement General Guidelines

by MOH, NCS, and FINA to regulate the conduct at USF sanctioned activities to ensure personal and public health in preventing or mitigating the spread of COVID-19.

These Guidelines will apply to athletes, Coaches, instructors, and personnel managing facilities; employees, volunteers, and agents of the USF; Medical personnel, technical officials; sponsors and partners; security personnel; Media and press attachés; parents; and the general public.

The Guidelines will apply to the following aquatic disciplines including Swimming; Open Water Swimming; Water Polo; and any other USF Aquatic or related activity. These Guidelines are dynamic and are subject to updated to suit changing circumstances or cater to unforeseen situations concerning COVID-19.

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