THE Real Betis Academy have welcomed the recent Government lockdown, and subsequent suspension of sport.
Founder and chief executive officer, Gerald Sibanda, said he is “more than happy to prioritise the safety of his players. We are in the lockdown together, and what affects us, affects everybody.” “And as Real Betis Academy, we are more than happy to comply, and down tools as the safety of our players comes first.
“This pandemic (Covid-19) is very real and we implore everyone, whether in the sporting fraternity, economic sector or the general population, to stay safe, practise social distancing as well as sanitise often as possible,” he said.
Sibanda went on to give an update on the work his academy, which is now based at Heritage Primary School, has done since its launch late last year.
“First of all, we are very happy that in 2020 we managed to get our project up and running, as we had our first enrolment and training camp.”
“We are now an official and fully recognised institution, and, at the end of the day, that is the joy that we carry into 2021.
“Plans are afoot to start building our centre at Heritage Primary School, and we are now working on our 2021 programme, from behind the scenes.
“We hope to be ready to get the ball rolling again, once the lockdown ends and if the situation improves,” he said.
Much like most sporting institutions and disciplines, the lockdown has greatly affected the academy’s operations and plans for 2021.
For example, the Under-19 women’s enrolment programme is currently in doubt, while the tour to Spain has been pushed back.
“We have been forced to push back our inaugural tour of Spain, where our boys were to embark on a 10-day tour to the Real Betis Centre for exposure, training and a tour of the club’s facilities,” he said.
“The tour was originally slated for early April, but has since been pushed back to the European summer around May/June.
“We are also hoping to fit in our first batch of the Under-19 ladies team, later this year,” he added.