Patafa's new guidelines aim to keep athletes safe

Policies that will embrace the new normal will be adopted by the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association when it begins resuming activities and competitions in the last quarter of 2020. 

With the 2020 Philippine national athletics championships most likely to be held this December, athletes, coaches, educators and officials will be asked to observe numerous protocols, safety and health measure during their activities.

The PATAFA discussed its guidelines right after the International Association of Athletics Federations gave the green light for all member countries to resume their activities by August.

PATAFA president Philip Ella Juico said this after they rolled out a set of policies which will keep the athletics' community safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

“This new normal protocol was crafted by a group headed by Edward Kho, and with inputs from secretary general Terry Capistrano,” said Juico on the eight-page document.

Juico talked about the guidelines during a Google Meet video conference on Sunday evening.

The PATAFA has submitted its guidelines to the Philippine Sports Commission, which is set to forward recommendations from the national sports associations to the Interagency Task Force for Infectious Diseases.

The IATF has asked the PSC to send out recommendations on when numerous outdoors sports events will be allowed to take place once quarantine restrictions are eased.

“The global pandemic has created changes in the way sports is conducted. Athletics is not immune to these changes,” wrote PATAFA marketing and communications' chief Edward Kho in the guidelines that they gave to the government sports agency.

According to some of the protocols submitted, athletes and coaches are required to wear face masks when outdoors. It is optional when training.

Quarantine passes and days in quarantine are required for athletes and coaches when they report for training, and for other activities.

And they should not have a history of international travel, some two weeks before training or competition.

The national open will be held at the newly renovated track stadium of the Philsports complex in Pasig City.

The meet comes 11 months before the 2021 Southeast Asian Games.

When it was last held in Isabela last year, Fil-American sprinter Kristina Knott emerged as the most bemedalled sprinter after winning three gold medals.

Knott, who is currently seeking qualification for the Tokyo Olympics, took home three gold medals in the 100-meter and 200 meter sprints, and in the 4x100-meter relays.

She went on to claim a gold, two silvers and a bronze in the 2019 SEA Games.

The 24-year-old Knott is expected to be around again, along with five national athletes, who have remained focused in their relentless pursuit of the first-ever Olympic gold for the Philippines.

Date: May 27, 2020 | By: Peter Atencio | Newspaper: Manila Standard | Source: