India is currently into the third stage of its nationwide lockdown and the country is fighting hard to get things back to normal. The latest lockdown norm has provided some relief to the citizens but this needs people to understand the gravity of the situation and utilise the relaxed norms in a judicious manner.
Sporting world has also come to a standstill and this has definitely made life boring for fans as well as the players. Unions Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju has echoed the sentiments of the sports fanatics and assured them that things will get back to normal soon.
Unions Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju, while talking on e-agenda Aaj Tak said that a proper planning is being done to assure that the athletes come back to the grounds safely. He also agreed that some sports will need more help than others.
“Not only sports the life has changed, we can’t live like before and we have to make sure to follow the new norms and sports also will come up in a new way. We will have to plan to make sports more interesting without fans. Stadiums in future will not be filled with fans. IPL is rich and get revenue from tv but there are others which need help. We will help those sports and federations. We have big aims and want India to be in the top-ten nations’ list in terms of winning medals.”
The nationwide lockdown has left the athletes without proper training facilities but the Sports Minister appreciated them for utilising the limited resource at their home to the maximum.He added online sessions are also being conducted to train the athletes and coaches.
“Will like to tell the citizens that sports and players are under lockdown but our training centres and players are doing something. We are using the lockdown well, online sessions on sports science is being done on massive scale, development programs for coaches, high performance directors and others are getting connected through online calls and helping each other.”
Players from different sports have rallied together and contributed massively to combat the coronavirus pandemic. Kiren Rijiju has made a note of it and heaped praises on the players for the same.
“Players have participated massively. They have contributed financially, food, rations and social awareness. Players have followers and easy to reach people. The PM talked to Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Sourav Ganguly, PV Sindhu and talked to everyone. I am also in touch. We are preparing ourselves for future. Linking players to their coaches, conducting medical tests, blood pressure tests,” he said.
The Sports Minister also realises that a proper training facility is necessary for the athletes. He said he is getting requests from many athletes to allow them to take field but it won’t be possible as safety of the players is must for the government.
“Fitness regime will go on but proper training necessary for athletes is important. We have started preparing, National Institute of Sports Patiala, Delhi IG stadium, SAI centres, premier sports centre will be opened after lockdown. A roadmap is being prepared. If something happens to top athletes it will be a set back and so we are careful and that’s why there are no positive coronavirus cases for our athletes till now. Medical experts, technical committee are working to start things.”
Kiren Rijiju added that preferences will be given to athletes who have qualified for Tokyo Olympics or those who have to go for Olympic qualifiers. He added that this shouldn’t make other athletes sad as every one will comeback to field but in a planned manner.
“Players request to allow them to play, Everyone can’t be given permission together as it would be risky and so top athletes who have qualified for olympics or have to go for qualifiers will be given preference. We will mark those players and phase wise start the training, No need to be sad for other athletes but it will be phase-wise process. Federations are requesting and I know how boring it is without sports but this challenge is for everyone and we will have to wait. The roadmap is ready.”
“Athletes going for olympics and qualifiers is a category and similarly with sports, We are planning in that manner, Players are pride of our country and so we can’t risk anything. Sports is an industry and largest employment sectors. There are going to be losses because of the lockdown but we are taking calculated measures.”
Rijiju also assured that all the players and coaches will be looked after for and they would not be left to suffer in these difficult times.
“Foreign coaches are being used in different manners are being paid. No body should be deprived of salary in these tough situations. The budding players have went back home and we will call them again to give admissions but will do something for the needy ones so that they don’t suffer much.”
“I am assuring players, big or small to not worry. We will bring you to the ground soon, we will bring back every sport. You guys keep practicing on home, you will make us all proud again and bring happiness,” he concluded.
Sports activities across the globe came to a standstill in the wake of the coronavirus pandmeic. Tokyo Olympics was the biggest gobal sporting event to face the brunt of the novel coronavirus as the quadrennial got postponed until July 2021. The cash-rich league IPL has also been postponed to indefinite period.
Athletes have been finding it dificult to cope up with the unprecedented situation and trying their best to innovate new ways of training. Recently, IOC had asked players and coaches to fill a feedback questionnaire to help them lay plans to resume training.
Till the afternoon of Saturday, India had registered over 59,000 positive Covid-19 cases with a total of close to 2,000 deaths.
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