KOLKATA: Sporting activities in Kolkata are set to resume from Monday. Coaching camps on Sunday were finalizing their sanitization, social distancing and emergency treatment protocols while asking parents of trainees not to crowd in and around the facilities. They have also barred children below 14 years from training for now.
“Trainees will be divided into small batches and guardians will no longer be allowed near the practise areas. We started exercise sessions over the last two weeks and from this week, full-fledged training will begin,” said Sambaran Banerjee, former cricketer and ex-national selector, who runs a cricket academy in south Kolkata.
Arijit Majumdar of Bulan Football and Cricket Academy in south Kolkata said they were asking even senior coaches to stay at home for the time being and have replaced them with younger trainers, who themselves are undergoing training now to ensure social distancing protocols are maintained. “We have asked our head football coach to stay at home. He will rejoin once the situation improves a little. We shall start with only 50 trainees for,” said Majumdar.
There had been a ban on all sporting activities since the middle of March, but a fresh unlock order on August 29 allowed partial resumption from September 21. The new instructions allowed a maximum 100 persons in the congregation and has come as a breather for thousands of young sportsmen in the city who had been stuck in their homes for the last five months, shadow practising their techniques.
“I was tired of shadow practising my batting techniques and bowling for hours against a wall. I’m glad that I will finally get some real action,” said Bikram Prasad, a young cricketer from Tollygunge.
Some clubs like Rising Star Sports Slub at Vivekananda Park and Piyush Shukla Badminton Academy in Naktala said they started calling students in phases from last week.
“We are calling only eight trainees per slot, instead of the 30 that we used to have earlier,” said badminton coach Shukla. Dipen Rudra of Rising Star Sports Club said they have even made Aarogya Setu app mandatory for the students. “Students will have to provide a fitness certificate before resuming training and must ensure that they do not hug, shake hands and share any equipment with fellow trainees,” Rudra said.
But, most clubs are worried if they can continue with treatments in case of breathlessness, muscle cramps, or other physical injuries that would require physical touch.
Sports medicine professionals opine that though it would be best to avoid amateur training in this pandemic, in case of an emergency, CPR should be a must without hesitation. “If there is a choice between saving a person’s life and a chance of acquiring infection, one should choose the former,” said sports medicine specialist Vikas Kapoor.