SPORT: Special waiver needed for top athletes to train during COVID19 lockdown

4 June 2020
By Elaine Murphy

“Many of our national competitors cannot access training facilities” says Politician

Fianna Fáil TD for Cork North West Aindrias Moynihan is calling on the government to examine measures which could allow our high-performance athletes travel to their training facilities, which in many cases may be outside of their 5km limit.

One proposal is to allow the national sports governing bodies issue waivers to athletes who live more than 5km from their training facility.

Deputy Moynihan explained, “These restrictions have been in place for well over two months now and while athletes can undertake some of their training regimes at home, many of them will need to get back into their training facilities so that they can work on the Olympic and Paralympic programmes.

“The reality of the situation is that the majority of the national training centres are in Dublin. We have the National Rowing Centre here in Farran, but there are still issues with getting our athletes to the as it is beyond their 5km limit. Even if the restriction is raised to 20km next week, many of the rowers and other athletes will still not be able to travel to train.

“Ireland has a proud record on the world stage, but with the postponed Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics just over a year away, our athletes need to be given every opportunity to get back on track with their training regimes. Some of our Olympians have already been out warning that the restricted training opportunities could mark the difference between an athlete retiring and not retiring.

“Our athletes are looking at their counterparts in other countries back in training mode and are rightly worried that they will be at a disadvantage. We need to ensure that Team Ireland has the best chance of success next year and that involves a review of the current situation.

“The Olympic and Paralympic Games have always served to bring the country together and give us a morale boost. We need to ensure that our athletes, our Olympians and our other high-performance sportspeople can train to the standards they would normally expect.

“I believe Minister Ross should be engaging with our sports governing bodies to look at ways that our athletes can get back training again”, concluded Deputy Moynihan.

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