COVID and the Swiss competitions

This 2020 was and still is a special time… In January and, February the regional pupils and juniors competitions started. The shock was really big when, in midMarch 2020 all sports competitions were banned throughout Switzerland because of a new, strange virus “Covid-19”. All other competitions such as the Swiss Cup, cantonal championships, and Swiss championships for pupils and juniors befell victim to the lockdown. Also, international competitions, like the Junior European Championships in Altdorf, were canceled.

What’s Next?

In the second half of the year, there was a ray of hope for the athletes. Training and competition operations could be resumed under certain conditions. Here the organizers of competitions were challenged to creatively protect the athletes and spectators with a good hygiene concept and to attract them back into the halls. With three rounds of SwissAustria Masters, the competitions for the elite athletes were resumed. Unfortunately, the Austrian athletes did not start due to restrictions in Austria, but some athletes from Germany participated.

For the highlight of the season, the Swiss Championships were on shaky ground for the implementation. The Covid case numbers bounced up again and the organizer VMC Liestal had to wait for the green light from the canton of Basel-Land. Due to a perfectly thought-out hygiene concept, the cycle ball and artistic cycling championships could be held. In addition to the required wearing of masks for the whole day, the protection concept included among other things:

 the spectators were divided into different sectors according to their club.
 the athletes didn’t have contact with the spectators
 Athletes and officials had a separate entrance to the hall
 Athletes, officials and, spectators had to check-in and out via a special app

Yes, it was a special championship. At the award ceremony, the athletes had to hand over the medals, prizes, champions jerseys and medals to themselves. I am thinking about the future. We need organizers who will hold competitions in the interest of our sport. Organizers that develop sophisticated hygiene concepts to protect the athlete and the spectators. Associations such as Uzwil or the VMC Liestal, as well as the VfH Worms, have proven that holding competitions under these circumstances is possible. The ICWW’s online competition also helps athletes to present themselves. This is the only way we can keep the athletes, especially the pupils and juniors, on the “bike” and that they keep practicing indoor cycling. Unfortunately, the last Swiss competitions in December, Christmas Meeting and
Niklaus Cup had to cancelled due to the “Light Lock Down”. Hopefully, this evil spook will soon be over and we will “celebrate” indoor cycling competitions all over the world again. Take care of yourself and stay healthy.

Günter Altwegg – Commissaire and member of the ICWW board

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