Sunday, August 01, 2021

Paddlers prepare for 'new normal'

PADDLERS in Cebu are hoping that dragonboat will be soon included in the list of allowed sports in places that are under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).

The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) has recently released the list of non-contact sports that are allowed in MGCQ that includes running, jogging, walking, biking, golf, tennis, swimming, badminton, equestrian and skateboarding.

“We are coordinating with our mother federation, the Philippine Dragonboat Federation (PDBF). They will submit guidelines for dragonboat by the end of the month. Hopefully, IATF will consider it,” said John Paul Maunes, Philippine Accessible Disability Services Inc. (Pads) Dragon Boat Team executive director.

He said the paddlers can still do the sport while maintaining the social distancing measures. Instead of the regular 20 paddlers, they will lessen it to 10 members per dragonboat.

Aside from lessening the number of paddlers, he also suggests to do disinfection on equipment right after every practice.

“The other countries like Singapore, Hongkong and the Netherlands have allowed dragonboat to resume under strict guidelines,” he said.

Pads considers safety as the top priority for its paddlers since the members of the team have disabilities when they will begin to practice the “new normal.”

“For the management on Pads, we are also very careful by requiring our athletes to secure a certificate from their barangays or even urging our athletes to undergo testing before going back on our training,’ he said, adding that some of the members have already taken a rapid test and the results were all negative.

“Right now it’s the rapid test because we urge them to take the rapid test conducted on their barangays. But if we got the chance to access on swab test it would be better,” he said.

“If the government or any accredited body will authorize us for testing, we’re willing to buy our own test kits, because safety is our top priority,” added Maunes.

Pads topped the 14th IDBF World Dragonboat Racing Championship last year in Thailand, where they made history as the first world Para-Dragon boat champion.

All the events of Pads for 2020 and 2021 are either canceled or postponed due to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

“As of the moment, our home workout routines continue. Also, we are doing spiritual activities like the daily and weekly huddles online just to make everyone safe and guided in these tough times,” he said.


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