Kiren Rijiju: Elite athletes to resume training in phased manner once lockdown is lifted

Written By: Subhayan Chakraborty WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: May 11, 2020, 03.07 PM(IST)

Kiren Rijiju Photograph:( IANS )

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Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju on Monday announced that ‘elite athletes’ will resume training, in a phased manner, once the nationwide lockdown ends. Rijiju advised the sportspersons and all the stakeholders to not rush in easing out training restrictions keeping health and safety the top priority. 

Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju on Monday announced that ‘elite athletes’ will resume training once the nationwide lockdown ends. Entire India is under lockdown since March 24 in a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19 and the measures have restricted the Olympic hopefuls and other athletes to train indoors. However, Rijiju advised the sportspersons and all the stakeholders to not rush in easing out training restrictions keeping health and safety the top priority. 

“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. #IndiaFightsCorona,” Rijiju tweeted on Monday. 

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On Monday, Rijiju interacted with elite weightlifters housed in Sports Authority of India's (SAI) National Center of Excellence in Patiala with the weightlifters sharing their feedback on the resumption of training in a phased manner. 

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While sportspersons have strictly followed the lockdown norms while spreading awareness about the COVID-19 on various social media platforms, the Indian Sports Ministry has decided to allow athletes to resume their regular training regimes in a phased manner. 

Earlier, Rijiju had said that proper planning will be needed to ensure sports remain sustainable when played behind closed doors in near future. Rijiju had even stated that they need to identify the players and teams who have qualified for the Tokyo Olympics or are going to take part in the qualification competitions of the Games, which was pushed to 2021 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

"First of all, we will identify those players and teams who have qualified for the Olympics. Second, those who are going to play the Olympic qualification competitions, we will allow these athletes to practice," Rijiju had said.

"We won't be able to open camps for those who are not in qualification reckoning soon. Maybe that will go beyond August or September," he had added. 

Notably, all sporting activities in India have remained suspended since mid-March due to the outbreak of novel coronavirus which has claimed over 2,200 lives in the country.
 

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