“[…] Why keep advising us not to do something, but not put it in the regulations if it is so critical and so important that he keeps having to say it at every media briefing?
“[…] Some schools and clubs are allowing those over 18 years old alone to play sport, whilst others are not, again, due to mixed messages with the CMO saying one thing, but the regulations saying another…”
The following press statement from Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith is a response to Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh and Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram, who advised parents to stop their children from playing sport or other children’s activities although the public health regulations do not forbid them from doing so:
The TTPS wishes to abide by the recommendations of those versed and qualified in the field of health as it pertains to adhering to advice. But these same individuals keep sending mixed and confused messages, and they seem unable to answer simple questions to stop having parents, young players, and coaches from being confused.
The importance of youths training, exercising, keeping fit, is supported by well-known medical practitioner Dr David Bratt, in his column this week, where he said: “the police commissioner is quite correct to insist that children, young and old, should be allowed to play outdoor sports, official or not.”
Staying inside their home, boxed up watching a screen and playing video games, is going to affect these young people. Young persons, if their energies are not burnt in the right manner, can indeed become unhealthy and also turn to unproductive, mischievous, and even criminal activity. This obviously is a concern for the TTPS.
There is a saying that one cannot be half pregnant, but the mixed signals from these health media conferences are confusing the TTPS and many involved in sport.
The CMO keeps saying the same thing at every media brief, by stating that he is ‘discouraging youths playing outdoor organised sport’.
Whilst saying the same thing at every chance he gets, but if so, and this is such a critical concern, then how come the government has not put it in public health regulations, and prevent all youths from taking part in any organised tournament or team sport?
But instead, he and his line minister keep saying, ‘you can do it, but we advise you not to’.
Why keep advising us not to do something, but not put it in the regulations if it is so critical and so important that he keeps having to say it at every media briefing?
Because of these mixed messages, there are now some schools having their footballers train in under-14, under-16 and their first eleven teams in preparation for September’s Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) season, as the government stated that it is clear to do so, whilst other schools are banning their players from training due to the CMO’s comments.
Some schools and clubs are allowing those over 18 years old alone to play sport, whilst others are not, again, due to mixed messages with the CMO saying one thing, but the regulations saying another.
If the CMO was responsible for the Covid-19 Regulations in England, then Mason Greenwood of Manchester United, who is one of the fittest and healthiest players in the English Premier League, would have been banned because he started the season at 17 years old.
What about the players on national teams? Is he saying that a 17-year-old on a national senior football team is at risk for Covid-19 if he trains with the senior team, but an 18-year-old on the same team is not?
Half of the Pro League Youth teams want to play because the government says it is okay—but half don’t because the CMO is advising otherwise.
I ask the CMO to please explain why organised team sport is an issue when such tournaments are organised, hence greatly minimising the risk, in comparison to those who ‘sweat’ in parks, savannahs and sport fields; yet he does not frown or make comments voicing his concern on this, but only for tournaments—as if the Covid-19 virus is selective for tournaments but not a ‘sweat’.
Why not state concerns likewise about parents taking their kids to the beaches, where thousands converge, or water parks, or a movie when the air circulates in one space?
The TTPS is trying to simply understand, why is it that only sports tournaments seem to be a concern to the CMO and his minister?
Editor’s Note: The Commissioner Cup’s football tournament, which caters to over 2,000 children nationwide between the ages of 12 and 18, is scheduled to kick off in early August but might be in doubt due to the pronouncements of Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh and CMO Dr Roshan Parasram.