Important take-aways from badminton tourney in face of COVID-19 threat


Important take-aways from badminton tourney in face of COVID-19 threat

Friday, April 03, 2020

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The Jamaica International Badminton Open was perhaps the last international sporting event to be staged in Jamaica before sports went on lockdown on the island.

The COVID-19 global pandemic has resulted in all sporting activities grinding to a halt across the globe, leaving sports fans in total misery.

The Jamaica Badminton Association (JBA) was, however, able to stage an incident-free tournament, just before the island started to really experience the effects of the coronavirus.

President of the JBA Nichole Case gave some takeaways from the sixth staging of the most important tournament of the association's calendar.

“Risk planning and execution for us was instrumental to managing the risk threats of COVID-19, so we implemented strong preventive measures,” she said.

These measures began from as early as the press conference held at the offices of the Jamaica Olympic Association, a few days before the start of the tournament.

“Our press conference became a COVID-19 workshop and helped to build media awareness about the COVID-19. It helped persons to be more aware of the preventive measures which included hand sanitisation.

“The handshake rule override was also a proactive measure taken by us.”

An important part of the planning was the guidance sought from the Ministry of Health and Wellness with regard to mitigation efforts.

“Partnership with and leveraging of the expertise of the Ministry of Health and Wellness to guide us [regarding] travel bans, the blocking of high-risk participants and other effective preventative operational measures,” Case highlighted.

The president also believes that the execution of the event by her team was world-class and could lead to even bigger and better things for the sport on the island.

“Jamaica badminton executed a professional high-quality international tournament and demonstrated our readiness to bid for higher-level international events from the region, bringing even more exposure to Jamaica becoming a high demand badminton sport destination,” Case said.

The local staging of an international event as against having to travel also helped the Jamaican players immensely, she stressed.

“Hosting local international events not only contributes to nation-building, but also allows invaluable international competition experience to our developing national players, both seniors and juniors,” she stated.

Case also said that the country is poised for regional dominance based on the results coming out of the tournament.

— Dwayne Richards

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