New Delhi, May 26 (SocialNews.XYZ) 50 percent of sports facilities have been restarted in all stadiums in New Delhi for athletes, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) said on Tuesday. In keeping with its Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for resumption of activities in the facilities, only athletes belonging to disciplines where no body contact is required are allowed to train.
"Initially sporting activities are being started in those disciplines where no contact is required among players and minimal sharing of equipment is needed," said SAI in a statement.
"Accordingly, archery, table tennis, badminton and lawn tennis will be started in JLN Stadium and Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium depending on facilities available.
"In keeping with the guidelines of the government on social distancing and hygiene, it has been decided a maximum of only 50 percent of sports facilities in various stadia will be made operational to ensure social distancing."
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) while announcing the extension of the ongoing lockdown to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, had said that stadiums and sports facilities can be opened up for athletes. However, it had prohibited aquatic activities from taking place because of which the Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Swimming Complex will remained close
"The sporting activities in JNS and National Stadium has resumed from Tuesday afternoon, in slots of one hour which needs to be pre-booked online. Detailed guidelines have been made available to the stadia administrator and they have been briefed comprehensively to ensure adherence to government guidelines of Health and Hygiene," said SAI.
"Sports activities at IG Stadium and Karni Singh are expected to resume in a week's time as logistics are being worked out."
SAI additionally said that all stadiums have been disinfected and sanitized. "Thermal checks and hand sanitization of every athlete and accompanying parents is being done at entry gates. The wearing of mask has been made mandatory and nobody will be allowed without mask. Athletes can take off mask only while performing the sports activities."
The resumption of training in facilities is a topic that has divided the sports community in recent days. While many athletes have expressed fear of returning to training while there is still no solution in sight to the deadly virus, others have expressed confidence in the safety measures.
It has also been a reason for discord within the upper echelons of the Indian Olympic Association with President Narinder Batra pushing for resumption and Secretary-General Rajeev Mehta in vehement opposition.