I refer to the Straits Times’ commentary, “Are sports coaches who move across condos a weak link in S’pore’s Covid-19 fight?” (May 27).
The National Instructors and Coaches Association (Nica) believes that it is unnecessary to single out sports coaches, or any worker of any profession, as a weak link in the nation’s battle against Covid-19.
We are currently under phase two (heightened alert), which has stricter measures for sports, physical exercises/activities, and all sports and recreational facilities in Singapore till June 13.
Thus, sports coaches and instructors are unable to conduct as many classes as they could previously.
Among Nica’s members, many sports coaches saw a drop in their number of classes – some having no classes at all if clients are not prepared to shift classes online – and correspondingly, earnings have dropped by at least half.
Lately, some members, when training their clients outdoors while adhering to the guidelines set by the Government, have also been scolded by some members of the public who were unhappy that the instructors were still conducting classes despite the stricter measures.
Nonetheless, Nica’s members remain responsible in complying with Sport Singapore’s guidelines, such as wearing face shields and masks when training; maintaining safe distancing; and, for swim coaches, adhering to pool booking allocation regulations. They do these to protect themselves, their students and the community at large.
Nica will continue to work closely with the authorities to support coaches in complying with safe management measures.
We invite the writer to reach out to us to better understand these measures, and to suggest how the prevailing measures could be further enhanced.
Just like many other workers whose livelihoods have been impacted by Covid-19, sports coaches are doing their best to earn a living without violating Covid-19 guidelines or rules.
Many are also understanding of the postponement or cancellation of classes to safeguard against any potential risk or exposure to Covid-19.
To help our members, Nica has been putting together short-term work options for our members to take on during this difficult period.
We are also working with the relevant authorities to explore ways in which we can further support instructors and coaches.
We also hope that the public will be more empathetic towards those whose livelihoods have been disrupted by the pandemic.
A little kindness goes a long way and we must all work together to emerge stronger as a nation.
National Instructors and Coaches Association