Petition underway to open beaches for sports, hobbies


Jelani Beckles

21 Hrs Ago

A PETITION recently started to “open the beaches in TT for responsible sport and physical activity” has already been signed by 796 people (as of 8.10 pm on Saturday).

Keith Lewis, an outdoor enthusiast, is hoping sports and physical activity will be permitted on the nation’s beaches.

The petition says, “We politely propose that ocean-users be considered for responsible activity. Fundamentally, accessing the ocean to surf, or swim/train, or snorkel and free-dive, kayak, stand-up-paddle, and similar and related activities pose minimal to no possible route of covid19 transmission.”

The petition added that other countries have allowed people to participate in these activities.

“This type of consideration has been given to similar ocean users regionally, such as Barbados and internationally such as California (USA), Hawaii, Australia, Bali and others.”

The petition urged the Government to consider certain short term guidelines until “the infection rate on the island is reduced to a level that would allow for a complete removal of all restrictions currently in place.”

Lewis is requesting that people are allowed access to beaches between the hours of 6 am and 11 am daily with no exceptions made for people outside those times.

The third guideline said that while engaging in exercise and wellness activities on the beach, members of the public must follow social distancing guidelines as outlined by the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation.

Finally the petition is hoping that “sitting, lying, standing, sun bathing, sight-seeing, picnicking and all other non-exercise, passive or sedentary activities” are prohibited.

Triathlon race organiser and former national triathlete Jason Gooding is in support of the opening of beaches for constructive activities.

Speaking to Newsday, he said, “I am in support of athletes being allowed to be on the beach in the water doing physical activity, doing some activity…it is health related, they are not on the beach liming and drinking alcohol and whatever.”

Triathlon, like most other sports locally, has been at a standstill over the past six months because of covid19.

Gooding said “being on the ocean you have enough space to keep your distance from people. When you get in the water you not constrained to a lane…you not stopping on the wall and breathing in everybody face there.”

Gooding also said exercising is imperative for mental well being as people are now attending online classes and working from home, therefore people need to spend more time outdoors.

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