IOA Preparing SOPs For National Sports To Begin By October

New Delhi: National sports competitions in India may commence by October with IOA preparing SOPs for most sports.

Addressing a FICCI webinar on ‘Sporting Events: Embracing the New Normal’, Dr Narinder Dhruv Batra, president, Indian Olympic Association (IOA) said, “We have already put together unique SOPs for most sports and are in the process of identifying regional centres for sports where competitions will be allowed. While Bengaluru has been identified for hockey and Delhi for shooting. However, we are yet to figure out the best SOPs for contact sports such as wrestling.”

Dr Batra said the government is supporting all sports. There is a lot of positivity among players and they want to get back on the track. While working out and training in homes, a player’s output is around 40-50 per cent. “Hence once back on the field, players need to move from basic load to medium and then high load and getting back to full load may take up to 2-3 months,” he said.

Vishal Kumar Dev, Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Sports and Tourism, Government of Odisha said “It is easy to issue SOPs and guidelines but difficult to implement them. Hence, there is a need to assess the feasibility aspect of the implementation of SOPs that are being issued for players.”

Sanjog Gupta, Chair, FICCI Sports Committee & Sports Product Head, Star India said fan engagement is an integral part of sports. “The pandemic has removed the wall between fans and viewers, which has given a huge opportunity to have more fans connected with and cheering for the game than ever before. There is a need to redesign the sporting experience for millions of fans across the world,” said Gupta.

Anil Kumble, former Captain of Indian cricket team and Chairman, ICC Cricket Committee said the idea is to kick-start cricket and monitor the different aspects of the game. “The players need to have some cushion in terms of loading up their bodies to sustain test matches as they require time for training with the team,” added Kumble.

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