Level 1 provides some relief to Oxford Striders

The continued easing of lockdown restrictions has brought some relief to the many sporting clubs in East London, but there is still a long way to go before things are truly back to normal.

ROAD TO RECOVERY: From left, Oxford Striders members Muzi Chirwa, Sipamandla Goduka and Peter Chiwaya. The club has seen a slow improvement as restrictions ease, but there is still a long way to go

“Although we haven’t opened the club facility to its fullest, members have started making use of the club again and run in small groups in the evenings,” said Oxford Striders member Helen Pretorius.

“This has made things seem a little more normal.”

However, the club still has to deal with what restrictions remain in place, and the effects they have.

“We have not been able to host any events since the lockdown started, not even at Level 1.

“At the moment, we cannot host races or time trials, mainly due to the size of the events. We are bound by Athletics SA (ASA) to adhere to all protocols regarding athletics clubs,” said Pretorius.

This had hurt the club in a number of ways, especially financially.

“Lockdown has had a financial effect on the club but, fortunately, we have managed to cope. We also don’t have the same overheads as clubs who rely monstly on their bar revenue,” Pretorius said.

“I think we may see an impact on membership for 2021, but we have not committed to increasing membership fees for next year and are also offering financial assistance to those of our members who have been impacted by Covid-19.”

For Pretorius, it was important that members follow correct health and safety guidelines in order to help stave off further infections.

“We understand that people are becoming frustrated with not being able to participate in races, time trials and the long Sunday training runs but we all just need to be patient,” she said.

For those looking to find out more about Oxford Striders, email striders@sainet.co.za.


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