Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju has confirmed that the training of elite Indian athletes will resume once the lockdown imposed to contain the spread of coroanvirus is lifted. Also Read - England vs West Indies 2020 Full Fixtures Announced: International Cricket Set to Return in UK From July 8
He though appealed sportspersons and stakeholders to be patient as the government will plan resumption in a phased manner keeping in mind the safety of everyone involved. Also Read - Unlock 1, Day 3: Over 8,000 Fresh Cases Recorded in Past 24 Hours as Life Moves Towards Normalcy
“Once the lockdown is lifted, we will resume the training of our elite athletes followed by other SAI Training Centres in phased manner. I appeal sportspersons and all stakeholders not to rush because health and safety is our top priority presently,” Rijiju tweeted on Monday. Also Read - Heartwarming! Amid Lockdown, Kerala Operates 70-Seater Boat to Ferry Just One Schoolgirl to Help Her Take Exams
Rijiju had already stated that Olympic-bound athletes will be given the preference and a roadmap is being prepared to get things underway from May end.
The sports ministry though had earlier plans of starting training at the various Sports Authority of India (SAI) centres across the country but with the lockdown period extended for another two weeks, they had to back out.
“I thought of starting training of athletes at SAI centres from May 3 (the earlier stated end for the lockdown). Now we will have to do that in a phased manner by the end of this month. Sports events don’t get any relaxations under Disaster Management Act. We don’t fall under the category of essential services,” he had said.
Several track and field athletes, as per news agency PTI, have been requesting the government to allow them to resume training within SAI premises but haven’t been given the permission to do so.
Apart from that, discussions are also undergoing how to resume practice in contact sports like boxing and wrestling during this period when social distancing has become a norm to avoid spreading infection.