Getting vaccinated is essential as the sports world seeks to come out of two years of COVID-19 lockdown and restrictions.

The negative impact will be felt for generations to come.

A lot of focus has been on Profesional Sports and Leagues that have had the financial resources to spend millions of dollars behind COVID-19 countermeasures.

A reality that is not the same for amateur sport, youth sport, school sport and the sport system in almost every Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees (CANOC) member country. The sports ecosystem is in deep trouble as COVID-19 has decimated participation, motivation and interest.

As we come to the end of another COVID-19 impacted year and look to a New Year in the midst of yet another variant of Covid-19 - OMICRON.

Two significant events are on the horizon for the Caribbean Olympic and Commonwealth Sports Movements.

The 1st Caribbean Games to be held in Guadaloupe in June and the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in July.

Covid-19 countermeasures and an emphasis on safety and health protocols will be pragmatic priorities. The Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees (CANOC) is urging all stakeholders in the Caribbean Olympic and Commonwealth Sports Movements to be guided by science and medical advice. WHO, PAHO and CARPHA and the Public Health Authorities.

Getting vaccinated is essential. In 2022 Mandatory vaccination will become the norm rather than the exception as Governments around the Globe move to requiring full vaccination and Booster shots as part of Country entry requirements.

The other significant challenges are the economic and financial impact of COVID-19. The cost of participation, events and COVID-19 countermeasures, safety and health protocols.

The negative social impact includes the harsh reality that COVID-19 has had gender regressive implications in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Brian Lewis, President, CANOC