Athletes dominate feedback to IOA on resumption of training

The stakeholders have been asked to respond to a questionnaire and the feedback will be collated and compiled to form a White Paper under IOA President Narinder Batra.

The IOA has made it clear that the resumption of sports will have to be guided by the public health policies laid down by the central and state governments.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Athletes led the way in providing the Indian Olympic Association with their feedback on how to restart national camps amid the COVID-19 pandemic. On May 5, the IOA sought the views of athletes, coaches and other stakeholders on how to restart the national camps.

There are around 40 National Sports Federations (NSFs) and 35 State Olympic Associations recognised by the IOA. Of these, 18 Olympic sport NSFs were asked to respond by May 20 but only seven -- archery, hockey, rowing, squash, volleyball, weightlifting and yachting -- gave feedback before the deadline, according to the IOA.

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“Personally disappointed at the non-seriousness of Olympic Sports who were to revert by 20th May and did not revert,” Batra said.

“I sincerely hope that the NSFs and SOAs who are to revert by 30th May 2020 are taking it seriously and the defaulters of 20th May deadline will revert urgently,” he added.

Sixteen SOAs were also asked to send the collated responses before May 20 so that a draft White Paper could be prepared under Batra. After that, the remaining NSFs and SOAs were to submit their feedback by May 31 so that a final White Paper could be ready in June.

Among the 430 responses the IOA has received so far, a large chunk -- over 40 per cent -- is from the athletes. Over 33 per cent responses have come from match officials. Sports administrators and high-performance support team constitute 14.9 and 7.9 per cent of the responses respectively.

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Feedback has also been sought from central and state government ministries, sponsors, media, fans, doctors, virologists and sports medicine experts.

The athletes and the other stakeholders have been asked seven questions which include the right time and strategy to resume training, changes they foresee in the sport when it resumes after lockdown with regards personal hygiene, social distancing, self-protection and precautions that need to be taken.

They were also asked whether they would want to see spectators in-stadia when competitive sport resumes.

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