TTOC President Brian Lewis said resuming team sports at grassroots level "involves people becoming fully vaccinated" ©Getty Images

Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) President Brian Lewis has claimed COVID-19 vaccinations can help to resume team sports at a grassroots level in the country.

As reported by the Trinidad Express, the Caribbean country's Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said the return of "the pleasure sector", including outdoor team sports, could be "another few weeks away," following the reopening of areas of society such as education.

Lewis also cited the mandatory vaccine requirement at several international events, including the Cali 2021 Junior Pan American Games in Colombia, in arguing people should come forward wherever possible to receive their jabs.

"We in sport must appreciate and understand that public health considerations will always take priority at this point in time," he said.

"We can take comfort from the opening of businesses from November 1 to give a guide, in my view, of what the expectations are.

"It involves people becoming fully vaccinated.

"How do we cope with that?

"So it is not really a dilemma, it is really a choice.

"The various sporting organisations have to come to terms with that."

Trinidad and Tobago failed to medal at this summer's Olympic Games for the first time since Barcelona 1992 ©Getty Images
Trinidad and Tobago failed to medal at this summer's Olympic Games for the first time since Barcelona 1992 ©Getty Images

Lewis views on vaccinations potentially opening the door to a return of team sport were echoed by Douglas Camacho, President of the Trinidad and Tobago Hockey Board and chairman of Sport Company of Trinidad and Tobago.

"I am still hopeful that team sports can resume by the next update," Camacho said.

"Hopefully this can happen sooner if people would get the vaccine and enable the country to move forward more openly."

Robert Hadad, chairman of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association’s Normalisation Committee, urged "as many as possible to get vaccinated."

Lewis added that provisions for a "safe zone" where people can gather for grassroots sports events was proving an ongoing issue.

"I think the issue is really revolving around the safe zones." Lewis said.

"The fact that they [the Government have allowed since last year national team sports to be able to play and practice has more to with their comfort level, to a point, that it is a controlled environment that creates a biosecure zone and a safe zone.

"The challenge once you step outside that is how do you get and maintain that assurance, because outside of the national team sports, international and regional events, the concept of a safe zone is harder to control."

Trinidad and Tobago has recorded more than 53,000 infections and 1,572 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.

It failed to win any medals at this summer's re-arranged Olympic Games in Tokyo for the first time since Barcelona 1992.