Athletes who went home during the Covid-19 pandemic are steadily reporting back to Sports Authority Of India (SAI) Centers of Excellence, after being provided train or aeroplane tickets.
SAI has arranged for the transport for the athletes, as crucial international tournaments, of which Tokyo Olympics is the most important, is too close to ignore. Effort is also being made to create a head start for Paris Olympics in 2024. The medium of transport is being chosen by the distance required to reach the CoE.
“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,” SAI stated.
A considerable amount of athletes are already at SAI CoEs and are training as part of various national camps. For each new athlete reaching the centers, there will be a mandatory procedure of quarantine, followed by a RT-PCR test.
“For athletes training for 2024 Olympics, 96 percent of trainees have already reported to their respective SAI NCOEs and Training centres in Aurangabad, Bhopal, Bangalore, Delhi, Lucknow, Rohtak and Sonepat,” SAI stated.
As the athletes shall not be allowed to leave once they are inside the bio-bubble, they have been given the option to arrive after Diwali.
Considerable efforts have been made to ensure that athletes have a safe environment to reside and train in before the tournaments. Elaborate safety measures has been taken with the Health Ministry guidelines in mind, which includes colour coding and zoning of centers.
“Our Tokyo-bound athletes are already training and I am happy that in this phase too so many athletes have also joined the camp,” Kiren Rijiju said.
“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,” the Union Sports Minister added.
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