Earlier when training camps had begun to resume, athletes who have already qualified for the Tokyo Olympics had rejoined their respective NCOEs and STCs. Athletes who are joining the camps will be in mandatory quarantine and take the RT-PCR test. Some trainees could not join immediately and will be joining after Diwali. Trainees, once inside the NCOE bio-bubble will not be allowed to leave the camps, owing to safety issues. Therefore, athletes were given the option of joining on Nov 1, 2020 or after Diwali.
Speaking about this phase of resumption of sports, Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju said, “Our Tokyo-bound athletes are already training and I am happy that in this phase too so many athletes have also joined the camp. This shows that athletes have complete confidence in the SOP prepared by SAI to resume sporting activities and have therefore reported to training camps with great eagerness. The safety of our athletes is of primary importance and all measures will be taken to ensure they can train in a safe environment.”
With elaborate safety precautions in place, including colour coding and zoning of the centres to ensure that athletes do not come into contact with outsiders, all safety measures have been taken as per Health Ministry guidelines and the state health protocol to ensure that trainees have a safe environment to reside and train in.
Additionally, SAI authorities reached out to all athletes and their parents to apprise them about the Standard operating procedures (SOPs) that are in place which have to be followed prior to and after joining the SAI centres. Athletes and parents who have been contacted have been positive about the measures that are in place for themselves and their kin.
The Sports Authority of India has also made transport arrangements for the athletes to their NCOEs/SAI training centres. Athletes who have to travel beyond 500 km are provided with an air ticket while those who are stationed less than 500 km may travel by train in 3rd AC.
By Tapas Bhattacharya