Let’s tackle these challenges caused by the covid-19 pandemic by working together!
In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, 66-year-old British Melrose Stewart provocatively asks the question “Let the Old Die?” and calls us to investigate our values. She is an avid runner and remembers 2017, for example, when she became age group winner in the Birmingham 10K. Therefore, she argues, one might begin to understand her frustrations when she sees headlines suggesting ‘let old people die ’. She noted with concern that COVID-19 had seen age discrimination rise to new and frenzied heights in some countries.
Masters Athletics is a successful model against age discrimination and is based on social ethical principles. There are age categories that are useful for comparison, and they are equally valid to over age 100. Nobody would think of excluding the age groups M/W65+ from the competitions, because for example the number of volunteers is too small or the procurement of additional javelins with lower weight is too expensive. The ethical principles include consideration, fairness, respect and equality.
It goes without saying that Safety Officers (doctors) take care of the athletes’ health during the competitions. However, this does not depend on the age but on the condition of the athlete.
Everyone in athletics, young and old, is suffering from the Corona Pandemic. And when the crisis is over, all athletes, regardless of age, will be able to participate in championships if they are healthy.