The Sports Authority of India (SAI) on Sunday announced it will resume sporting activities of Tokyo Olympics bound para-athletes and athletes at National Centre of Excellence (NCoE) across the country starting on October 5.
In what it describes as the “next phase” of resumption of sporting activities in the country, SAI said it will be focussing on athletes and para athletes who will be competing in the Tokyo Olympics next year and those preparing for the 2022 Asian and Commonwealth Games and 2024 Paris Olympics.
Disciplines for which training will resume are para-athletics, para-powerlifting, para shooting, para archery, cycling, hockey, weightlifting, archery, wrestling, judo, athletics, boxing and fencing. swimming and para-swimming remains a notable absentee from the list.
SAI said that the activities is being organised at SAI Regional Centres with residential facilities so that “the athletes are not exposed to any dangers of Covid transmission”. In the first phase, SAI in early June had started the training for only the Olympic bound athletes at various SAI centres, since SAI infrastructure are captive infrastructure and could ensure protection of the national athletes against Covid-19, SAI said in a statement.
“To ensure complete safety of athletes, including following of quarantine protocols, SAI SOP and state Covid-19 SOP, it has been decided that athletes, even those in the same discipline, will be inducted into sporting activities in batches. The first phase of sports resumption is likely to begin on October 5,” said SAI.
SAI said that it has also directed the regional centres to maintain the bio-bubble (zoning) to ward off any possible chance of transmission of the virus among trainees at the NCoEs.
“It has therefore been decided that coaches, support staff who would be involved in training of athletes will also be housed in the NCOE so as to maintain the integrity of the bio-bubble for the safety of all athletes,” the SAI statement read.