We Will Ensure Athletics In Africa Survive Similar Disasters In Future – CAA President

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We Will Ensure Athletics In Africa Survive Similar Disasters In Future – CAA President

By Sampson Adedeji

The president of the African Athletics Confederations (CAA) Kalkaba Malboum has said the body is working to ensured, that Africa countries can withstand future disasters BSNSports.com.ng reports.

While half of the world is starting to ease their way out of lockdown, most countries in Africa are still awaiting the green light from their governments to resume normal day-to-day activities.

The president, says the Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the sport in Africa.

“During this pandemic, like the rest of the world, all activities were stopped under country restrictions,” he says. “The only exception was Togo, where our AADC (African Area Development Centres) athletes have been able to keep on training as they were all living inside the centre at the Kégué National Stadium.

“In some countries, such as Mauritius, athletes were able to resume training on 1 July. There are several expatriate athletes across our various training centres, but they’ve been able to go back home before returning in September to resume training when the athletics season restarts.

“In other countries, most athletes have been able to train at home, and some with their personal coach. But our main advice to all member federations was to respect the decisions of their governments to protect their health.”

We spoke to the regional presidents to find out what was happening in each area, and they informed us that all competitions have unfortunately been suspended,” said Kalkaba Malboum.

“In consultation and in agreement with the host countries, we have also rescheduled our major competitions. We had two continental championships planned for 2020: the African Cross Country Championships in Lome, Togo, and the African Championships in Algiers. We’re now looking to host the African Cross Country Championships in March 2021 and the African Championships in June 2021, so that performances can count towards Olympic qualifying. But it all depends on whether the situation improves.”

In 2021 the main focus for our top athletes will be on preparing and qualifying for the Olympics, although at this moment the calendar for next year is looking quite poor,” says Kalkaba Malboum. “In recent weeks we’ve seen athletes in Europe return to competitions and training facilities, so hopefully it won’t be long before governments in Africa make similar decisions that will allow our athletes to do the same,” he said.

The CAA has had to postpone two continental championships and they’re still working with World Athletics and Athletics Kenya to find new dates for the World U20 Championships in Nairobi.

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