RTT Camp: Are we truly prepared for a 30 day lockdown?

Jubilation greeted the decision to allow the Road to Tokyo bound Athletes and hopefuls to resume training after a hiatus of three months.

The decision by the Special Ministerial Committee for Covid 19 was well received by all in the sports industry.

Termed as the baby steps towards a return to normalcy in sports, it was looked upon as the light at the end of the tunnel.

But do the 265 individuals involved realise what they are signing up for?

This is no ordinary camp of training.

Once you step into the gates, be it at Langkawi, Bukit Jalil or Bukit Kiara, there is no turning back.

They will have to commit to stay in the “ lockdown” of a camp for the next 30 days from June 1.

No going out, no meeting friends or family, no socialising beyond those in similar situation, nothing whatsoever.

The question now is will they be able to withstand such regimented type of a camp?

Yes it can be argued that those in involved had gone through the Movement Control Order since March 18 and this will be no big deal.

One even claimed that it was 30 days and not 30 years that these athletes had to endure such a situation.

Well ask your self that same question – will you be able to endure 2 sessions of training, every day, with breaks occasionally and really nothing else to do?

Are these facilities provided with recreational things that the athletes can do in their free time?

Is the accommodation suitable for them as boredom will surely set it.

Are these athletes allowed to bring in their cars when they check in?

Will there be a strict lockdown imposed such as what was often seen in the enhanced MCO?

Has anyone even bothered to cater for the needs of these Athletes – things like high speed internet, recreational items such as an entertainment are with Play Stations, pool tables, dart board ( electronic of course).

So in short are the preparations in place?

Next and more importantly is the fact that none can go in and none can go out, hence the one way ticket.

While all eyes will be on the 57 athlete, will the others actually adhere to this requirement?

And the media – how will they perceive this, surely they cannot be let into these locations to do daily coverage at the point of risking an infection.

Some even came up with the ludicrous suggestion of allowing media to stay in – be part of the 30 day camp and join in the lockdown so as to have a first hand loin or feeling of it.

But will the coaches or even athletes be comfortable as they will be under media surveillance 24-7.

No doubt the effort to get the athletes to train is a noble one, but 30 days straight?

Surely to self proclaimed experts that sit behind desks at Bukit Jalil would have realised that this was asking too much,

Let’s take for example the NSC and NSI Director General and Chief Executive Officer itself.

Will these two gentlemen subject themselves to the same conditions the 265 individuals will have to endure from June 1?

As they are responsible to endure no breach of protocols, the duo will heed to lead by example right, so they are going to be there from Day 1.

Yes they can delegate their responsibilities, but surely they must want yo be in every photo op right, especially as they athletes check in or when the Minister headed task force drips in for visits or spot checks.

Unless it’s totally a lockout like the infamous Guantanamo facility.

So while the jubilation and euphoria continues, start asking the right questions please.

A two week camp would have been sufficient and any chunks in the armour could be ironed out before a second two week camp in scheduled.

After all there is no important tournament scheduled in June or a month preceding it.

Let’s not lock out our prizes jewels without a proper thought,

So before you give yourself a pat on the back, think again, make the change now.

And if there are breaches, hopefully not, do not cover up, not even if the culprit is a star athlete or even the NSC DG himself.

But then again the carpets in Bukit Jalil are huge, so sweeping things beneath is a norm.

Oh how we wish the snooker and billiard training centre was still on the penthouse floor of Casa, at least the athletes could have had some fun.