The Kenya Golf Union is optimistic that the ongoing consultations with the Government will soon pave way for the resumption of activity on the courses.
Ben Omuodo KGU chairman disclosed today that the Union has been engaging the Government over the past three weeks seeking to find a way forward on how golfers can be allowed to walk on the courses without endangering the country’s concerted efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus.
Golf, alongside all sports was suspended three weeks ago following a presidential address that imposed strict measures, more so in five counties, as the country reels under the deadly Covid 19 third wave. The move has seen over 20 golf clubs in Nairobi, Kiambu, Machakos and Nakuru remain shut throwing more than 7000 golfers into inactivity while more than 2,500 caddies have been rendered jobless.
“This is a very delicate and unprecedented situation. Whereas we appreciate that golf is a non-contact sport, the blanket ban applies to all activities. Just like it happened last year, we trust the Ministry of Sports, Culture & Heritage to come up with specific re-opening protocols bearing in mind the risk profile of every sport. The low risk and health benefits of golf are self-evident. This remains the basis of our engagement with the Government officials,” Omuodo told T-OFF News.
Last year KGU successfully lobbied for the resumption of golf, amongst other non-contact sports, at a time when the country was under tougher lockdown measures. In the concession granted by the sports Cabinet Secretary at the time, golfers were allowed back on the course but without caddies while clubhouses remained shut. The measures were gradually eased allowing caddies back while clubhouses were partially reopened under strict health protocols including mandatory Covid-19 tests for all staff.
“We are very grateful that the Government has continued to grant us audience,” said Omuodo.
He said the Union is pushing for gradual re-opening that would only allow golfers limited access to the course under strict adherence to the ministry of health Covid-19 protocols. “Even if it means golfers just being allowed to walk on the course, this will be a welcome beginning. We are happy that our proposals are being considered alongside other federations which have also put in their case,” he said.
Several sports federations have embarked on rigorous initiatives pleading for resumption as thousands of the country’s sportsmen reel under the weight of dormancy slowly but surely being pushed into poverty. For instance, Football Kenya Federation and Kenya Rugby Union have already conducted a successful mass vaccination exercise for their members in readiness of a “timely” resumption.
Meanwhile the RBC Heritage 2021 enters the second day today as world No. 1 Dustin Johnson seeks to redeem himself. Johnson had a slow start yesterday shooting -1 to finish T47 eight shots behind Cameron Smith, the overnight leader. Smith who finished tied 10th at The Masters will take a stroke lead to today’s round having set a personal best yesterday when he birdied nine holes for a nine-under par 62. Stewart Cink is in second position one stroke behind while Collin Morikawa and Matt Wallace are tied in third position six-under par. It was a bad day in office for defending champion Webb Simpson who shot level par to finish a distant T68 position. Catch all the RBC Heritage 2021 action live on DStv or stream matches on the DStv App.