Abhinav Bindra has said the forced break and the lockdown that has ensued because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has given India a chance to shore up their sporting infrastructure. Also Read - What is Ivermectin, the FDA-Approved Drug That Goa Recommended to All Above 18?

Lockdown and travel restrictions means inaccessibility to foreign coaches and support staff which will force authorities to look inwards to train athletes. Also Read - Veda Krishnamurthy Pens Emotional Note After Losing Mother, Sister To COVID-19: My World Has Gone Upside Down

“The post-COVID world could be a blessing in disguise for India. There may not be so much foreign exposure and this may allow India to build proper sporting infrastructure,” Bindra said during an online session while addressing the newly appointed assistant directors at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) and other major officials. Also Read - Chandigarh Extends Corona Curfew by Another Week | What is Open, What is Shut

Bindra, who continues to be India’s lone Olympic individual gold medalist, stressed on the importance of building  “our own coaches and our own support staff.”

He also added that athletes should be trained not only in their discipline but on alternate careers in case they first choice doesn’t work out.  “We need to look after athletes because the very nature of sport is that more will fail than succeed. It is important that athletes have backup plans in case their sports career doesn’t work out,” he said.

Bindra’s gold medal at the Beijing Olympic marks an important era in Indian sports history.

To process of creating champion athletes should begin at the grassroots level, he said. “Getting foundations right is important, a lot of work on that has already been started with the Khelo India programme and also emphasis placed on junior programme of different sports,” he pointed out.

The legendary shooter said the administrators should understand the psychology of athletes and build relationships with coaches and experts for a deeper understanding of various elements.

“It is important to strike relationships with the experts and coaches that various federations have. An expert can give a larger overview of the various elements that go into sporting performance and that’s where you will understand where performance is built,” he said.

He added, “Results at a competition cannot be the only denominator when planning for an Olympic Games or an Asian Games.”