Relief in Kuwait as sports and children’s entertainment facilities resume
By Ben Garcia
KUWAIT: Families in Kuwait breathed a collective sigh of relief yesterday as children’s entertainment activities resumed in line with health requirements and precautionary measures after a one-and-a-half-year shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, most of the sporting activities that had stopped due to the coronavirus pandemic resumed in June 2021. Kuwait cricketers, for example, resumed their regular games and tournaments in July. The Kuwait cricketer community comprises 150 teams of 18-20 members each. They held matches at various venues outside of Kuwait, but spectators were banned due to health protocols.
Indian cricketer organizer Jiss Jacob told the Kuwait Times that weekend players continued to increase in numbers after months of inactivity. “More and more sports are taking place now, especially since everything seems to be going well and we are slowly getting back to normal. We are happy to have survived this frightening pandemic and must push for more activities to make up for the lost months. Most people find cricket a relaxing activity and wait to meet friends and enjoy the game after a week of work pressure and stress, ”he said.
According to Jacob, cricket has connected many people, and whenever someone finds themselves in a difficult situation, other players support them. “Recently a friend died on the ground due to cardiac arrest, and we helped him. That’s what’s good about sport – we don’t just channel our strength and energy, but also financially and even mentally and emotionally, ”he said.
Meanwhile, the Association of Philippine Organizations in Kuwait (ASFOK) has announced plans to resume sporting activities from tomorrow at the Qadsiya Sporting Club in Hawally. A sports festival will be held from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Francis ‘Kikz’ Olpindo, coordinator and current president of ASFOK, said “it is time to help our kababayans (compatriots) to recover from the emotionally exhausting environment of the past two years”.
“We have to help each other to recover. It is a much needed activity and a relief from all the worries of the coronavirus. If we are too slow to pick up and get emotional, this pandemic will continue to hurt our people and it will be very difficult for all of us to recover. It will continue to devastate people, so we have to face reality and at least play, ”he told the Kuwait Times.
ASFOK also plans to organize basketball, chess, volleyball, badminton and table tennis tournaments with the strict application of sanitary measures on the site. “We want the Sports Day to be successful and hope we can help Filipinos get started again. All sporting activities are now permitted, but we will strictly follow sanitary protocols and advice from club and health experts and welcome members only. We always recommend that non-members do not register, especially if they are not vaccinated. Sports Day will have a no-vaccine, no entry policy, ”Olpindo said.
“While we are happy to return to the pre-COVID environment and want everyone to enjoy it, it is the responsibility of each of us to be safe. Players should immediately leave the site. after their matches, that way we will all be safe, ”he added.
In June, Kuwait resumed all sporting activities, more than 15 months after the pandemic hit the country, but with strict enforcement of health protocols. Sports clubs and associations must comply with the measures of the Ministry of Health to ensure the safety of players. The move comes as the country intensifies its vaccination campaign. In recent weeks, Kuwait has administered 2,790,113 doses of the vaccine, at a rate of approximately 38,000 per day. According to reports, 70 percent of people have been vaccinated.