There is a lot of confusion around the Covid guidelines when it comes to competitive sport. Where some sports have been able to go ahead thanks to ‘bubbles’ in which athletes, officials and associated people are kept within a closed environment, many others have been banned during the pandemic.

Each sport has its own guidelines, so rather than run the rule of each and every one, in today’s article we’re going to suggest ways that you can reduce any risk of catching Covid during your competitive sport.

Follow these suggestions and you’ll reduce your own risk plus the risk to and from people around you.

Time to read: 7 minutes

Level: Intermediate

Key Points:

  • Use Hand Gel
  • Wash Kit After Each Use
  • Maintain Social Distancing Where Possible
  • Ventilate or Stay Outside
  • Don't Share Bottles
  • Clean ALL Equipment After Use
  • Wear the K-Mask from KYMIRA
  • Listen to Rules and Regulations

In today’s article we’re going to suggest ways that you can reduce your risk of catching Covid during competitive sport. Follow these evidence-based guidelines to stay safe.

Use Hand Gel

We’re so used to this now that it is largely automatic for most of us, but it’s important to stay vigilant.

What the research shows is that alcohol hand gel is more effective than hand washing when it comes to killing pathogens [1]. That being said, the two should be used in conjunction with one another – the hand washing removes the heaviest soiling, then the alcohol gel kills the remaining viruses.

Wash Kit After Each Use

Whilst we know that Coronavirus can last for varying lengths of time on different surfaces [2], the research for clothing and fabric is a little on the light side. What we suggest though is that a ‘better being safe than sorry’ approach is the most pragmatic one, so advice is to wash all of your kit after training and competing – even if it’s not sweaty or dirty.

Washing your kit regularly gets rid of any trace of the virus, even in small quantities.

Maintain Social Distancing Where Possible

There’s debate over social distancing, whether we need to be 1m, 2m or even more apart. The research is also conflicting, but in a very recent study (2020), the intervention that saw social distancing being brought in showed that hospitalisations reduced by 64% [3]. Whether that’s a direct measure of fewer infections, or less serious infections, it doesn’t really matter – what matters is that social distancing seems to impact on the frequency and severity of new infections.

Ventilate or Stay Outside

In a study regarding the safe re-opening of indoors sports venues and gyms, the importance of ventilation was highlighted. Maintaining a clear and positive airflow appears to be a powerful ally against the airborne spreading of Covid.

Where possible stay outside. If you can, select events or training sessions where they’re held outdoors and make sure you don’t congregate in areas where there isn’t effective ventilation.

Don't Share Bottles

This one is screamingly obvious, but it’s worth a reminder for those engaged in team sports. Don’t share water bottles under any circumstances. The risk of contamination is far too high.

It’s important to remember as well that just because you don’t have Covid symptoms, doesn’t mean you are in the clear – studies suggest that up to 60% of Covid cases infections may be asymptomatic [5].

Clean ALL Equipment After Use

Whilst cleaning your clothing after each training session and competition is a good idea, it’s also good practice to clean all of your equipment – especially in the contact points. In cycling, think saddles, handlebars, pedals etc. In running, think watches and in strength training, think of all the equipment you touch.

Alcohol wipes and anti-viral sprays are the most effective way of doing this.

Wear the K-Mask from KYMIRA

Wearing masks before and after competition, especially in the busiest areas is a very good idea. The K-Mask from KYMIRA is a class-leader, with 99.6% viral filtration level. It comes with in-built changeable filters.

There are three layers to the K-Mask…

Layer 1: Nanofibres capture viruses, bacteria and pollutants via electrostatic attraction.

Layer 2: Activated carbon layer traps environmental pollutants.

Layer 3: Nanofibres capture viruses, bacteria and pollutants via electrostatic attraction.

These add up to make the K-Mask one of the best in the world and a very effective protector against not just Covid, but all kinds of other airborne viruses and bacteria. Whilst nothing offers 100% protection from Covid when in public, the K-Mask certainly offers more protection than most.

Listen to Rules and Regulations

All sports will have their own guidelines, rules and regulations. This should always be your first port of call – see what the rules are in your activities, your events and your training. Everything we’ve suggested here is good practice that applies to all sports and activities.

Follow the rules and we’ll be able to return to normal sooner rather than later.

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March 09, 2021 — Stephen Hoyles

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