Sporting facilities open their doors like never before

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, sport has played a central role in attempts to prevent the virus spreading.

Starting with matches being played behind closed doors but with eventual cancellations taking place, sports teams are now thrusting themselves onto the frontline and joining the fight against COVID-19.

Sports facilities have often been used to provide relief in times of need but are now opening their doors to offer support like never before by being transformed into makeshift hospitals.

Teams from all around the world who play all kinds of different sports are offering up their home stadiums to the healthcare industry in a bid to cope with the booming demand for space in hospitals.

With hospitals struggling with overpopulation there have been desperate pleas for help and the sporting world has duly delivered.

The Principality Stadium, the national stadium of Wales in Cardiff, was approved funding by Vaughan Gething, the Welsh health minister, to construct a 2,000-bed facility on the pitch.

Vaughan Gething. Photo from: commons.wikipedia.org

The stadium will prove to be immensely valuable to the NHS as it has a retractable roof so therefore it can be used as an indoor facility at all times despite the typically wet weather.

Gething’s decision will prove to be immensely helpful for the NHS as it will reduce a lot of strain placed upon Cardiff’s hospitals.

Stuart Walker, medical director at the health board, discussed the goals of the project.

“What we’re trying to do here is to replicate a typical ward environment as much as possible.

There’ll be medical staff of all grades present, including training doctors through to senior consultants… physical therapists and so on, to help people get ready to go home.

I’ve been working in the NHS for decades. I’ve been a medical director for some years, and without a doubt, this is the largest challenge that I have faced.”

In New Orleans, USA, they are no strangers to crisis management, when the Superdome, home of NFL team New Orleans Saints, became an emergency shelter for those effected by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

The Louisiana Superdome served as a shelter of last resort in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Photo from: de.wikipedia.org

Now in the Big Easy the city’s basketball team, the Pelicans, has offered up their home, the Smoothie King Centre, to the city and has given state permission to use the arena floor to store masks, hazard suits, gloves and other essential supplies for healthcare workers.

Although many facilities are being transformed, some have been taken over in a different way.

The fairways of Skukuza Golf Club in Kruger National Park, South Africa has become infested with lions as play has ceased amidst the lockdown!

Take a look at the incredible scenes for yourself: