New Delhi, May 11 (IANS) Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju on Monday stated that they will resume the training of “elite” athletes once the nationwide lockdown, currently in place to contain the spread of novel coronavirus, is lifted.
“Once the lockdown is lifted, we will resume the training of our elite athletes followed by other SAI Training Centres in phased manner,” Rijiju said in a tweet.
The country has been in lockdown since March 24 and it is currently slated to be lifted on May 17.
Rijiju further appealed to all the sportspersons and stakeholders not to rush into “because health and safety is our top priority presently”.
The Sports Minister has already stated that planning will have to be done to ensure that sports remain sustainable without fans in the stadium in the near future.
Rijiju had earlier said that the ministry is planning a phase-wise re-opening of training camps for the athletes. “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.
All sporting activities in the country have remained suspended since mid-March due to the outbreak of coronavirus which has so far claimed more than 2200 lives in the country.