Talks ongoing to reopen Nehru Stadium for athletes

National and international sportspersons have been eager to get back to their turfs rather than doing fitness at their homes.

Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu (SDAT) is contemplating reopening the Nehru Stadium athletics track next week.

Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu (SDAT) is contemplating reopening the Nehru Stadium athletics track next week.   -  REPRESENTATIONAL PHOTO/ GETTY IMAGES

Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu (SDAT) is contemplating reopening the Nehru Stadium athletics track next week. Sportstar has reliably learnt that SDAT has been in consultations with officials of the Tamil Nadu Government to prepare the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) document in the wake of COVID-19.

In fact, national and international sportspersons have been eager to get back to their turfs rather than doing fitness at their homes.

READ| Most sportspersons wary of returning to outdoor training

Eager to start

Top Indian paddler G. Sathiyan is eager to start training but is of the opinion that the SDAT should also allow private centres, such as the Raman High Performance TT Centre where he trains under S. Raman, to open. “We will follow the social distancing and all necessary safety protocols,” Sathiyan said.

Commonwealth Games gold medallist Sharath Kamal concurred and said for a skill-based sport like table tennis it was important to get back to playing.

Tennis player Prajnesh Gunneswaran felt it was about time they got back on court. “We are aware of the situation but at the same time, this is our livelihood. We need some clarity on how we to training safely, especially after the sports ministry has given permission. Not training for long periods can also cause injuries,” he said.

READ| SAI announces SOP for training resumption

While SDAT is yet to allow private centres to open, quite a few badminton facilities across the city have reportedly opened. A reputed coach said: “When they are asked how, the academy/centre shows the Government Order (GO) which says: ‘Sports Complex and stadia will be permitted to open without spectators.’”

In fact, the first GO by the State government said elite sportspersons “should obtain permission from the concerned District Collector/Commissioner, Greater Corporation (Chennai) to train with their independent coaches.”

There is now a need for SDAT to come out with clear directives.

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