File image of Kiren Rijiju

Union minister of state for youth affairs and sports Kiren Rijiju on Tuesday said outdoor training for athletes will be resumed in a planned manner.

Rijiju on Monday held a meeting via videoconferencing with top track and field athletes including Hima Das to understand their needs so that outdoor training can be conducted smoothly after the nationwide lockdown is lifted.

The meeting was also attended by top officials of Athletics Federation of India (AFI), coaches and athletes from National Institute of Sports (NIS) Patiala and Sports Authority of India (SAI) centre, Bangalore.

Also read: COVID-19 lockdown: Kiren Rijiju reviews SAI’s steps for keeping athletes engaged

During the meeting, Rijiju said that a committee has been formed to set up a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) which should be followed by the athletes during outdoor training after the lockdown period gets over.

AFI president AdilleSummeriwala, who was also a part of the meeting, said Rijiju made it clear that the sports ministry cannot rush into a decision even though the athletes want to start outdoor training.

He said that the athletes have been asked to follow the guidelines of the nationwide lockdown.

“Also, they have been told that even when the lockdown is lifted they cannot venture out of the camps since they have been living in a protected environment since March and are more prone to getting infected,” he added.

“If any athlete leaves the camp after the lockdown is lifted, we will not allow him or her to come back and train,” he further said.

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