South Africa: Pressure and Performance – Covid Bio-Secure Environment Pops Sports Stars’ Bubble

When the Boks meet the All Blacks for their second Test, they will have been in an unbroken bio-secure environment for 12 weeks. Researchers are just beginning to understand what an effect this unnatural existence is having on performance.

First published in the Daily Maverick 168 weekly newspaper.

As the 2021 Rugby Championship reached its conclusion, debates about performances and results will start giving way to concerns over the wellbeing of athletes.

The Springboks are the most prominent examples of a team that has been taken to the extreme by the Covid-19 pandemic. They have been in an almost unbroken bio-secure environment (BSE), or bio-bubble lockdown, since 2 July. They will have a two-week break before entering another bubble for at least six weeks for their November tour to Ireland and Britain.

Typical of the team’s culture, the Boks have refused to use this unnatural existence as an excuse for their mediocre performances on the away leg of the Rugby Championship, which was hosted in Queensland.

But two players – prop Thomas du Toit and lock Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg – have left the squad citing “personal reasons”. Many others have not even enjoyed the highlight of playing in a…


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Author : Daily Maverick

Publish date : 2021-10-04 11:43:05

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