SAI and NRAI to ensure bio-bubble for national shooting camp

The two-month-long national camp will be held at the Dr. Karni Singh Range from Thursday; all 15 Olympic quota winners will be a part of it.

The national camp will be held at the Dr. Karni Singh Range in Tughlakabad, Delhi.   -  Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

The Dr. Karni Singh Range, a shooting range in Tughlakabad, Delhi, will be divided into four “risk” zones to ensure that Olympic-bound shooters can safely resume training at a two-month-long national camp to be held there from Thursday.

The camp will be held in a bio-bubble due to the threat of the COVID-19 disease.

The Sports Authority of India (SAI) and the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) will take joint responsibility of conducting the camp in a secure environment.

“In order to maintain a secure bio-bubble whereby the athletes can train safely and to prevent a coronavirus outbreak, the responsibility of maintaining the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) will be shared by the Sports Authority of India and the NRAI,” read a statement from SAI.

The camp is expected to feature 32 shooters (18 men and 14 women), eight coaches, three foreign coaches and two support staff. All 15 Olympic quota winners will be a part of it. The exercise will take place at a total cost of ₹1.43 crore, according to SAI.

“To maintain safety, zoning of premises by nature of risk category to minimise the contact between campers and range personnel has been planned into Green, Orange, Yellow and Red Zones,” it added.

The NRAI has made boarding and lodging arrangements at a hotel close to the range, for which SAI is providing support as per existing SOPs. From the hotel to the entry to the shooting range, it would be NRAI’s responsibility to ensure compliance of the SOPs in order to keep the bio-bubble secure.

‘Safe and comfortable environment’

Shooters or coaches coming from outside the Delhi-NCR region will have to be quarantined at the hotel for seven days while locals will require quarantine at home for a week, after which they will join other campers in the hotel for the entire duration.

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NRAI secretary Rajiv Bhatia said: “This will be the first national camp that will be held since the nationwide lockdown was imposed in March and all steps are in place for the shooters to perform in a safe and comfortable environment.”

All shooters and coaches must undergo COVID-19 tests, which will be conducted at the hotel and arranged by the NRAI.

India can add to its record haul of 15 quotas for the Tokyo Olympics on the basis of world rankings in the upcoming months. A compulsory camp was first planned for an August 1 start but had to be postponed because of the raging pandemic. Another camp, scheduled to begin on October 1, was also pushed back.