Compulsory use of the Arogya Setu App for players and coaches, strict instructions to carry personal equipment, training in small groups of 8-10 players and the arrival of one group only after the previous group’s departure. These are part of the 14 guidelines the Haryana Sports Department issued regarding the opening of sports complexes and stadiums in the state.
The directions came two days after the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) laid out new norms regarding the extension of the nationwide lockdown that permitted the opening of stadiums. Sports complexes and stadiums in Haryana will be opened after they are sanitised.
“Haryana has the presence of the country’s best sportspersons. Opening up of the sports facilities will help such players and sports trainees. The sports department will take all the precautions and a team from the state health department will brief the coaches and players about precautions,” SS Phulia, Director Sports and Youth Affairs in Haryana told The Indian Express.
The 14 guidelines will be applicable as the standard operating procedure for the operations of more than 80 stadiums and sports complexes in the 22 districts of the state.
The guidelines also include the mandatory screening of players using non-contact thermal readings and the use of masks. It also states that personal equipment like javelin, discus, bow etc. should not be shared by trainees.
The state has also allowed training for close contact sports like judo and wrestling, but the number of trainees will be in small batches of eight to ten. For team events, a maximum of 18 players and two coaches will be permitted in a group. Only one group at a time will be allowed to use a facility.
“Apart from the arena, the medical rooms at the stadiums and sports complexes too will be sanitised. A proper record of everyday training and medical updates at more than 80 stadiums and complexes will be maintained and players will also be encouraged to consult coaches via teleconferences to avoid exposure to the virus,” Phulia said.
“For events like boxing, wrestling and other contact sports, there will be strict measures of sanitisation and social distancing. Coaches will be told to strictly adhere to maintaining the advised number of trainees in the batches,” he said.
Athletics coach Naseem Ahmed, who has coached the likes of 2018 Asian and CWG champion Neeraj Chopra, believes that elite players need to train and that players and coaches should take the responsibility of following strict social distancing measures.
“As coaches, we can help maintain the social distancing rules and adopt safety measures during the training,” said Ahmed, who is a coach at Tau Devi Lal Sports Complex in Panchkula.