COVID-19 taking a toll on professional sports staff and athletes

By Jessica Tyson

COVID-19 has halted all sports in Aotearoa affecting athletes and others working in the industry.

Tapatahi spoke to former radio host Marc Peard and Tall Blacks and Breakers basketball player Jordan Ngaitai about how COVID-19 has affected them.

Peard says he has lost a significant amount of work due to COVID-19.

“For me, broadcasting sport was my livelihood and I moved my family up to Auckland to chase a career in broadcasting and sports emceeing, and just so quickly it all dissolved and it’s kind of left me scratching my head thinking where to now."

He says Radio Sport shut down a week ago due to the lockdown.

“So there goes the money for the mortgage, and so did the emceeing at the Warriors when the home season at least was called off, so there’s goes the food for the kids, says Peard.

“The sports can’t play and then there’s no sports to cover. It’s only so long you can interview athletes as they’re at home training. So COVID-19 has shut down everything that I did for a livelihood.”

Ngaitai says the lockdown period has taken a toll on his training.

“I just have to switch my mind-set up and just stick to working out in the back yard with whatever weights I have. It’s tough though. This is probably the longest I’ve gone in a while without shooting a basketball.”

Prior to lockdown, Ngaitai was preparing for the National League with the Wellington Saints and the 2020 Olympics with the Tall Blacks. Both events has been postponed.

“The two biggest platforms that I could have had for me to pay and show more of what I can do are basically postponed and shutdown, he says.

“But I guess for me I’ve just got to keep staying positive and make sure that I trust my abilities and hopefully others do and see that.”

Ngaitai says its tough times for everyone.

"I think you’ve got to stay positive and optimistic," he says.

For more on this story watch the Tapatahi clip above.