Gaborone — Three Botswana fencers currently enrolled at FIE Academy in South Africa for the 2020 cohort, have chosen to remain in that country during the current crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
After being declared a national disaster by the South African President on March 15 that led to schools to be closed, the FIE Academy consulted stakeholders for a way forward and the Botswana athletes; Laone Lesejane, Camile Gombalume and Thabile Pilane chose to remain in South Africa under self-quarantine.
A media release from Botswana Amateur Fencing Society (BAFS)says the athletes will remain at their apartments to observe the self-quarantine period governed by conditions that include students to have access to online lectures and materials to continue their courses; one-on-one practical training conducted at the government mandated distance; reduced local travel for minimal essentials, since it is a critical component of attending the course.
Further, during this period, the release says the students will observe World Health Organisation (WHO) and South African government recommendations for reducing the spread of COVID-19.
It states that the athletes are taking part in a year-long course to become elite fencers, with enhanced coaching skills as well as sports science experts. BAFS recognises their determination to get through these challenging times and highly appreciates the difficult decision the athletes have made as part of their contribution to limiting the spread of the COVID-19 virus, it says.
BAFS urges all Batswana to be inspired by the athletes and continue to follow the key WHO recommendations, which include; to regularly and thoroughly clean hands with soap and water and maintain social distancing.
Source : BOPA