Barbados, this time of year is perfect to vacation but for professional netballers, Kalifa McCollin and Daystar Swift, it’s nowhere close to that as they long to be home.
The national netballers await exemptions to return to T&T, whose borders remain closed since March due to the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, forcing the government to take this measure, intermittently allowing residents back into the country.
Unfortunately, very little is being communicated to them presently them.
“No word. We haven’t received an email or anything yet,” said McCollin on Wednesday, adding that they have sought assistance from the Ministry of National Security (MNS).
“Travel exemptions, the MNS, Gary Joseph, Vel Lewis, and a couple of other people. We’ve contacted everyone.”
Both national players are returning from New Zealand where they made their debut in the ANZ Premiership. McCollin, a shooter, suited up with the Southern Steel while Swift played defence for the Northern Stars in a competition which started in March but was halted for a month as that country tried to control the spread of the coronavirus. New Zealand was successful in doing so and the Premiership resumed in June and ended late August.
The local netballers arrived in Barbados on August 30 and have twice tested negative for the coronavirus.
The pair is still trying to adjust to their relatively dormant life at a hotel in Barbados under these trying circumstances with Swift already resuming her regular profession from long distance, of course.
“We don’t have access to a car so if we have to get to the supermarket we hire a car. Star (Daystar) has started online teaching this week so there isn’t much we can do when the day comes and the wifi here isn’t the greatest,” said McCollin, who previously competed in the Vitality Netball Superleague in England.
She and Swift, most recently, represented T&T at the Netball World Cup held in England, last year. Having been away from home for almost a year, the duo is trying to remain calm but are anxious to return home.
“The situation just gets more and more stressful the longer that we’re here and it’s definitely causing a dent in our finances.
“It’s a lot to deal with mentally, seeing that we’ve been away for almost 10 months. We’d at least like to get some sort of acknowledgement versus the general automated responses,” stressed McCollin.