Cycling In The Midst Of COVID-19
Ghana’s sporting calendar this season may have come to an abrupt end due to the coronavirus pandemic. Yet, some sporting disciplines and athletes are keeping themselves busy by exercising and training.
While at it, yearning sportsmen who miss sporting events and activities can’t wait for sporting activities to return fully.
Off-course not without protocols to combat the COVID-19 virus such as frequent hand washing, wearing of facemask, using hand rubs or sanitizers, adhering to social distancing, and staying at home amongst other practices religiously being observed.
The President of Ghana, Nana Akuffo Addo during his second address to the nation on March 15, 2020, on “Measures Taken against the Spread of COVID-19” placed a ban on social activities which includes all kinds of sport.
“All public gatherings, including conferences, workshops, funerals, festivals, political rallies, sporting events and religious activities, such as services in churches and mosques, have been suspended for the next four (4) weeks.”
On May 31, 2020 a directive from the Government through the Ministry of Youth and Sports to ease the previous ban a month ago, focused on non-contact sports, like Athletics, Cycling, Tennis, Table Tennis, Golf, Powerlifting, Badminton, weightlifting, among others.
This gesture from the ministry to partially restore selected sporting disciplines (non-contact sports) brought a little hope for some athletes but many grumbled at the decision.
It was a mixed feeling. They miss their sports!
Local and international sporting events remain suspended till further notice while others take risks and bold steps to either cancel or continue to end a competitive season.
It’s being argued that a notable sport such as cycling, a non-contact sport by nature could observe one of the basic protocols of COVID-19 in social distancing, therefore must be allowed to hold competitions in this era.
Here in the Volta region, a social cycling club based in Ho, the regional capital, The Ho Cycling Club, whose membership and composition cuts across different walks of life, engineers, the military, lecturers, nurses, journalists and other social workers has come up.
The Ho Cycling Club was formed on the 14th of July 2019 with an aim to promote and cater to cyclists of all abilities in the Volta region.
Headed by a 7 member leadership, the exploits of the club in a short time of existence have already attracted internationally renowned events and names.
In August 2019 the Ho Cycling Club made a 10 Kilometer ride with the British High commissioner to Ghana, Iain Walker in a cycling tour, which was aimed at raising funds for the National Reconstructive Plastic Surgery and Burns Centre of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.
The British High commissioner to Ghana’s tour covered the whole country and was dubbed “Ghana Grand” a cycling challenge intended for a good course.
The vigorous social club continues to embark on weekly adventurous tours as they cover several kilometers to get familiar with tourist sites in the region, an attempt to promote tourism while they exercise and keep in shape.
Keeping shape and fit in this era of the coronavirus pandemic is crucial for a healthy being as Scientist and Researcher from the “Everyday Health website on “What You Must Know on Coronavirus” reveals that an antioxidant enzyme we produce when exercising may stave off or lessen the risk of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), a condition that occurs when the lungs become so inflamed they get stiff and swollen, leading to fluid buildup and oxygen deprivation.
ARDS is one of the complications that people with COVID-19 can develop, and it is associated with a higher death rate from the disease.
Last Saturday, a team of cyclists made a 98.16 Kilometer ride, to the Tafi Atome, Monkey Sanctuary in the Afadzato South District of the Volta region. It was a five (5) hour 46 minutes journey on a bicycle with several rest stops.
The gesture by the club to exercise and ride simultaneously several kilometers with subsequent ones to come is an essential part of keeping the mind and soul ready in a healthy manner, which scientists and researchers recommend could fight against COVID -19.
Scientists have established that a 150-minute weekly vigorous moderate-intensity aerobic exercise such as jogging, running or riding will strengthen the whole body muscle.
With the above study, one would affirmatively to say sporting events remain great indirect precaution against COVID–19 now, as they have always been against many other ailments.