Sports complexes under the jurisdiction of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) will begin functioning from Tuesday. An official said that while sporting activities will resume, swimming pools will still remain closed.
DDA owns over 15 sports complexes in areas such as Siri Fort, Saket, Vasant Kunj, Rohini, Akshardham and Hari Nagar, offering more than 30 sporting facilities. They provide infrastructure, coaching and “pay and play” facilities for skating rinks, basketball, swimming pools, tennis courts, squash, badminton, cricket fields and jogging tracks.
The largest ones are Yamuna Complex, the Commonwealth Games Complex and the Siri Fort Complex. It also has two golf courses in Lado Sarai and Bhalswa. A DDA official said all norms like using sanitisers and wearing masks is compulsory.
Visitors will not be allowed for the purpose of watching a game. The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) on Sunday issued a new order allowing stadiums and sports complexes to reopen without spectators in the national capital from July 5, as part of new unlocking guidelines. Stadiums and sports complexes were earlier opened only for training of sportspersons for national and international events.
Stadiums yet to open
Athletes and coaches reached stadiums across the city Monday morning in the hopes of getting back to training, only to be sent back home and asked to return in a few days.
Guards at the gates of Thyagaraj Sports Complex informed people that it would take a few more days to reopen. Coaches said they got the same response from Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
Dinesh Rawat, Delhi’s chief coach, athletics, said athletes have been practising on grounds where they do not have proper tracks or space. He said his students need to prepare for the World U20 Athletics Championship, scheduled to take place in Kenya in August.
Rawat said, “There are three or four children in Delhi who are good and have a chance of making it. But we have lost a lot of time. They are currently being trained at Nehru Park, where there are no proper tracks.”
Ali Ansari, a 19-year-old national silver medalist in decathlon, also had to turn around. “All of last year went to waste, and three months of this year have gone down the drain as well. I intend on participating in the under-20 championship, and only one month is left for the nationals. We can run in parks but cannot work out.” He used to train for eight hours every day previously, he said.
Later in the day, a guard at Thyagaraj said the administration is yet to have a meeting where they will decide when the stadium will open.
There were similar scenes outside R K Khanna Tennis Stadium in Hauz Khas. A guard said that once the stadium’s administration officially announces the reopening, staff and athletes can return.
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