Athletes back Ramaphosa’s stand on Covid-19

Picture: Phando/Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

There has been a remarkable show of unity across the world to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

Here at home, Springbok Women’s rugby captain, Babalwa Latsha, Extreme Fighting Championship bantamweight champ, Faeez Jacobs and city boxing trainer, Romeo Brand, have all backed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s decisions to help stop the spread of the virus.

Latsha, from Khayelitsha, recently made her return to South Africa, from her new rugby team, SD Eibar Femenino, in Spain.

With Spain being one of the top five countries most affected by the virus, Latsha was advised to go into isolation for 14 days after she returned to the country to be with her family.

She became the first female South African rugby player and the first female African rugby player to play in Europe and to sign a professional deal after she was scouted by a Spanish agency during a match between SA and Spain, in September, last year.

The UWC LLB graduate had a month left off her three-month contract, with a good chance of her team winning the league and the knockouts.

However, the worldwide pandemic had other plans, forcing all sports codes to be postponed or cancelled.

Latsha said she does, however, continue to train with a schedule at home, while using her little sister, Litha, as a weight-lifting bag.

Meanwhile, EFC bantamweight world champion Faeez Jacobs, from Mitchell’s Plain, said he wants to make sure that when an opportunity to fight comes along, he is in the best shape possible.

He has rearranged his room to make some space for his training routine which includes meditation.

The former Uber driver put in a performance that sent waves in the MMA world after he beat the former champion, Nkazimulo Zulu, for the vacant bantamweight belt, in Pretoria, last year.

“It was something I’ve always dreamt about. It is something that I hold very dearly in my heartI want to cement myself as the champion and defend the belt. To me that is extremely important,” he said.

Jacobs said he wants to make some pit stops overseas in order to become the best bantamweight across all MMA arenas, in particular, the UFC.

“With opponents, it’s a little bit of a slow process. Now with the virus coming into play, that is going to take more time. It is incredibly frustrating knowing that I’m fighting ready,

“I’ve been in camp for a long time and I’ve stepped up to another level. I’m ready to compete and showcase my skills,” said Jacobs.

Boxing trainer and fitness instructor, Romeo Brand, from Pelican Park, said seeing the way the Covid-19 virus is spreading across the world, the president made the right decision to enforce a lockdown, however, the economy and particularly small businesses will suffer.

“But for 21 days, let’s bite the bullet. We have to see this thing through because we are talking about deaths that could suddenly be in the thousands.”