Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju has cleared the air on the future of resumption of national camps in India. In an interview with Times of India, he said that the government is planning to resume training camps to prepare Olympic-bound athletes despite covid-19. “The camps are being resumed in phases as per the situation in the states. The boxers are already in Patiala but are going through an extended quarantine. Once the quarantine is over, they will resume training as per the SOP laid down. The shooting facility has been opened up and all Olympic-bound shooters are free to resume their training. The other camps will surely start but the training of athletes bound for Tokyo is our priority at this juncture,” he told TOI when asked about government’s plans for the wrestling, boxing and cycling camps.
India is currently experiencing a rise in covid-19 cases. In past 24-hours, the country has crossed 40,000 marks with 681 deaths in the biggest single-day jump. Rijiju said that the government’s modus operandi for training for Olympic-bound athletes would be to tread with caution, keeping their health and safety in mind. “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,” TOI quoted the Sports Minister.
Last month, 54 national sports federations had lost recognition after Delhi High court’s order. The Sports Minister said that the issue is now in court and will follow its due course. “I am hopeful that in a month or two, the government will be able to recognise the NSFs again. The government has asked the federations concerned to take corrective measures immediately,” he told TOI.