May 11, 2020 Sports
President Ryan Farias and his Executive of the Rupununi Football Association (RFA) have been trying their utmost to keep members of the association as focused as possible during these trying times that have been brought on by the coronavirus which has shaken the world; over four million persons testing positive; deaths bordering on 300,000 and recoveries hopping towards 1.5 million.
Closer to home, the confirmed number of positive cases was 93 last week with 10 deaths and 34 recoveries. Farias indicated that the RFA oversees some 58 villages and over 50 clubs (male & female) and that they have their work cut out in order to keep this deadly virus away from infecting its members.
Their central location at Lethem is just a short drive or walk away from the Brazilian town of Bon Fin; Brazil has over 150,000 confirmed cases of the Covid-19 with over 10,000 deaths and 55,000 recoveries as of last week.
Given the close proximity of the Brazilian town, Farias informed that they have to be very vigilant and ahead of the game in order to keep families safe and away from danger. Kaieteur Sport took the opportunity to pose some questions to the RFA.
Kaieteur Sport: How has the lock down as a result of the coronavirus impacted the RFA?
Rupununi FA: The Rupununi Football Association responded to the nationwide lockdown due to the treat from the global pandemic Covid 19 bringing all activities to a halt.
The most anticipated annual games the Senior Male and Female Football Champions League 2020, fifth edition which was scheduled between February to May was brought to a halt on March 13th 2020. The 28 clubs from across the five districts of the region were very disappointed because the momentum in the preliminary games was broken. For some of the newly formed clubs their dreams were crushed because they were looking forward to gaining valued game experiences against some of the leading clubs.
Kaieteur Sport: How have members been coping with the social distancing measures?
Rupununi FA: The players were forced to practice in the confinements of their homes; luckily the Rupununi is blessed with vast land space.
Kaieteur Sport: With over 50 clubs on your register, have you been in constant contact with your members?
Rupununi FA: The Rupununi Football Association planned games to foster social cohesion while at the same time building a resilient people. Hence, a whatsapp chat group keeps the executive members of clubs in contact. Updates on the pandemic situation and past videos of football across the world are shared to enhance training.
Kaieteur Sport: How do you see this impacting the game especially, females?
Rupununi FA: Females face the most challenging situation during this lock down. They are complaining of gaining weight because of the strict confinement to added family responsibilities such as home schooling and entertaining their children.
Kaieteur Sport: What has the mood been like in the Rupununi in response to this world pandemic?
Rupununi FA: It is one of the main social activities which fans looked forward to annually, however all of the clubs’ grounds are closed.
Kaieteur Sport: Do you think it would be a challenge for you to get the game rolling again, given the momentum you had going with your champion’s league?
Rupununi FA: The RFA is working closely with the parent body GFF to determine what will be the way forward. At this moment the games will have to wait because the RFA strongly believes that the games can continue at a conducive time, but right now lives have to be saved for that to happen.
Lethem Town is the gateway to Brazil and the coastland as such region 9 needs to be very cautious against the deadly Covid 19. The Rupununi Football Association joins the rest of Guyana by pleading with the football family to stay home and save lives.
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