Psychological effect of COVID-19 will stay with sports for long – Coach


GYMNASTICS coach, Tony Asuquo, says the negative psychological effect of COVID-19 will stay with sports for a long time.

Asuquo, Nigeria’s first certified world gymnastics coach, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that fans would be skeptical about going to the stadia once the lockdown in the country was lifted.

“Once the lockdown is lifted and sports is free to begin, fans are not going to rush back to the stadium. They won’t trust people because you are expected not to touch or shake hands.

“Even parents will not be willing to permit their children to go to the gym for training.

“It will take another two or three years for the negative psychological effect of this virus to completely go away,” he said.

Asuquo, who is also the founder of Tony International Gymnastics (TIG) Club has been engaging the gymnasts in his club via online sessions.

“We’ve been having online sessions with the gymnasts since the lockdown began. We have four classes each week and we have realised that the online sessions is as effective as the physical ones.

“The only difference is that, as a coach you might want to help adjust or fix the gymnast properly.

“We have our programme of the year scheduled already and since we can’t engage physically, we are doing them online. We give the kids homework and they are doing fine.

“The gymnasts are expected to move from one level to the other within a particular duration, so we are ensuring that all the artistic body requirements they need are put into practice,” he said.

Asuquo also said the club would adjust its programme to accommodate the safety measures to prevent COVID-19, once the lockdown in the country was lifted.

“We will ensure we always clean the gym, provide soap, water and hand sanitisers.

“The gym is not going to be open to everyone. Only a certain number of people at a particular time will be granted entry. Our training sessions will have to be expanded to accommodate this,” the coach said.

At the moment, Nigeria has over 8,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and has been on lock down since March.



– May 26, 2020 @ 16:15 GMT /

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