We cannot put athletes at disadvantage by delaying training camps, asserts Kiren Rijiju
Kiren Rijiju wants Indian athletes to resume training as soon as possible|
Indian Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju assured that Indian athletes won’t be put in a disadvantageous position in the build-up to the Tokyo Olympics and the training camps would go ahead. While many of the NSFs have made efforts to re-start their training camps, nothing positive transpired so far.
The Covid-19 outbreak has not only stalled all sporting activities since March, but the constant surge in the number of cases has made it difficult for resumption. Even though many of the National Sports Federation (NSF)s have made strides towards normalcy, the overall scene is not promising with many athletes refusing to join camps owing to the safety concerns. Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju asserted that they are not inclined to put the athletes in a disadvantageous position by delaying training camps, but their health issues and safety would also be considered.
"We are passing through an extraordinary situation due to the pandemic and therefore, the government’s approach to commencement of training for our Olympics-bound-athletes would be to tread with caution, keeping their health and safety in mind," said, Kiren Rijiju, to The Times of India.
"However, we cannot put them at a disadvantage by delaying their training. Therefore, camps will have to be held, while making a thorough situation appraisal. Decisions will be made on a case-to-case basis. The lockdown in many states is an added challenge, like in Bengaluru, where our athletes have not been able to join the camp. We have to work keeping all these factors in mind," added the government official.
Maintaining Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) set for the resumption of training camps is of utmost importance, but the recent breach of protocols by the boxers at the National Institute of Sports, in Patiala, has created more concerns. But Rijiju informed that he had personally spoken with the boxers and the situation is being taken care of.