Kiren Rijiju, on Monday explained several measures which have been taken to ensure ‘smooth training’ and preparations for the Tokyo Olympics 2020. Credit: Kiren Rijiju Twitter

All kinds of training and sports activities in every Sports Authority of India(SAI) centres were halted in March, 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak. During May, 2020, in the unlock guidelines, the ministry of home affairs allowed sports and sportspersons to resume training for Olympics and Paralympics.

The Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports, Kiren Rijiju, on Monday, September 14, 2020 explained several measures which have been taken to ensure ‘smooth training’ and preparations for the Tokyo Olympics 2020.

Rijiju, in a written reply in Rajya Sabha said that Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) were laid down by the Ministry of Sports to resume trainings and other sports activities, under the name ‘Khelo India-Firr Se’. The SOP covers everyone at the training centres including athletes, technical and non-technical support staff, administrative staff, hostel and facility management staff, and visitors to the centre.

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The SOP categorises the sporting disciplines into four categories, namely non-contact sports, minimal/medium-contact sports, full-contact sports and water sports.

The Sports Minister said that the National Coaching Camps for the 2021 Olympic bound athletes have been resumed and a COVID Task Force Committee has been set-up to ensure the SOP formulated will be “strictly followed” at the training centres and the national camps.
The sports ministry also formulated a timetable for the players or a group of players(in case of a team sport) so that the players can train without coming in contact with other players.

Rijiju also said that the players were provided with their necessary sporting equipments at their homes, with the help from SAI Regional Centres, State Governments and NGOs during the early phases of the nationwide lockdown period so that they can train within their homes.

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“Regular interaction with the athletes was done in order to boost their morale and keep them motivated in these tough times. Seminars and workshops have been organized via video conferencing to educate athletes about how to cope with stress and depression during tough times and focusing on their objectives so that the training is not hampered,” the sports minister said.

Keeping in mind the players’ training continuity for the upcoming Olympics, the sports ministry extended the contracts of Indian and international coaches.

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