By Buyeleni Sibanyoni (2 mins read)
In its efforts to curtail the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the South African government firstly implemented a 21-day nationwide lockdown and then extending it to 35 days, which will end on the midnight of 1st May 2020.
The lockdown comes with a set of regulations that include people staying indoors and only going out to buy essential goods such as food, cleaning and hygienic products, obtain medical supply, fuel and airtime.
As of Friday, 17th April, South Africa reported 2,605 confirmed cases of the pandemic, 1,654 active cases (or 64.49% of the total number of cases), 48 (1.84%) deaths, and 903 (34.66%) recoveries, according to a tally by Reuters Graphics. Globally, there are an overall of 2,180,064 cases, 1,489,048 (68.30%) active cases, 147,265 (6.80%) deaths, and 543,751 (24.90%) recoveries.
COVID-19 has negativity impacted the sporting fraternity, particularly because most sports need body contact. With the lockdown taking place, football players are unable to play. All the leagues in South Africa have been postponed. They include the South African Football Association (SAFA) National Women’s League and GladAfrica Championship.
In the midst of such a circumstance, one can see her/his mind wonder. So, The Open Journal asked university football players how they are coping during this lockdown period.
Brian Tshoba, Tshwane University of Technology player, said, “Obviously not good, I miss being on the pitch doing my things and being around my teammates, who are like family to me. But for us, we have got a program that we are supposed to follow to keep fit for this duration.”
Nomvula Kgoale, Tshwane University of Technology player, said, “I am doing fine. I am glad we have it. I have a lot of time in my hands to do whatever I have always wanted to do.”
Sphesihle Mbele, University of Johannesburg player, said, “Truth be told: it is tough and training with no drive or anything pushing you becomes difficult too. In fact, I miss football; I miss my life. After all, it’s not just a field it is my home.”
Amanda Mthandi, University of Johannesburg player, said, “I feel like I have a daily routine now. I try to keep fit even though sometimes it can be demotivating when training alone.”
Kal Laing, University of the Witwatersrand player, said, “The lockdown has been a very depressing time for me. I have not really been coping well as I have noticed that I am very snappy with the people around me and easily irritated by many things; my anger has risen.”
Lethabo kekana, University of Johannesburg player, said, “I am just surviving; football is too personal for me and I miss being in the field. I miss being with my teammates.” TOJ
Reporting by Buyeleni Sibanyoni. Editing by Gaby Ndongo. Feature image obtained from Pexels.