As all the sporting events have come to halt due to the coronavirus outbreak, the risk of athletes losing motivation in this situation is high. On Tuesday, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) looked for the views of athletes, coaches and other stakeholders on how to restart the national camps.
As the lockdown has been extended till 17th May, the National Sports Federations(NSF) and State Olympic Associations(SOA) have been asked to collect feedback from the stakeholders such as athletes, coaches, support staff, central and state government ministries, match officials and sports administrators about when and how to resume the training.
Under IOA President Narinder Batra, the stakeholders have been asked to give their feedback to form a White Paper.
On Tuesday, the document released that, “Training of the athletes was at the peak when the lockdown was enforced and the athletes had to stop their training at once, although it differs from sport to sport. The risk of athletes & coaches losing motivation is real.”
It further added, “In the present scenario, we will have to find out what is the way forward and how athletes can resume sports activities, training and eventually competitions.”
Kiren Rijiju, the Sports Minister of India has said about to start the national championship at end of this month.
The resumption of the championship will have to be guided by the public health policies laid down by the central and state governments said IOA.
Feedback has been asked from the athletes and other stakeholders of Eighteen National Sports Federations (NSF) and 16 state Olympic associations (SOA). A draft of White Paper has to be prepared by May 20.
The document said, “IOA President, Secretary General and Chairman Preparation Committee will consult experts and oversee the compilation of the White Paper as well as ensure effective implementation of the training/competition programme and remove hurdles, if any.”
Seven questions were asked by the athletes and the other stakeholders. The questionnaire includes the right time and strategy to resume training, changes they foresee in the sport when it resumes after lockdown with regards to personal hygiene, social distancing, self-protection and precautions that need to be taken.
NSF and SOA have to take the responses of doctors, virologists and sports medicine experts also.
The question asked from the doctors and experts are “Are resources for cleaning and sanitization available? How can athletes’ time in shared facilities be limited? Are isolation areas available in/near training and competition venues? “