Chandigarh sports complexes reopen to a new reality: No-contact training
Around 50-60 players and coaches were greeted with a slew of safety measures—screening at the entry gate, temperature scan, sanitising and maintaining a distance of 2m at all times—when they entered the Chandigarh Lawn Tennis Association (CLTA) stadium in Sector 10 for the first time after a gap of two months on Saturday.
After taking the lead in opening up its golf course on Wednesday, Chandigarh threw open almost all its government-run sports complexes for all disciplines, barring close-contact games such as wrestling, boxing, hockey, volleyball and cricket.
Normally, CLTA facilities are brimming with players, especially post exams, but Saturday gave a glimpse into the changes training and playing will have to undergo in a post-Covid world.
A session lasted around 30 minutes with the player and coach never coming close. In a changeover, wherein the second player arrived, the first one left without touching anything.
DOS AND DON’TS
Aarogya Setu app is a must for everyone as part of the standard operating procedure (SOP) adopted by the UT. A parent is allowed to accompany the child but social distancing has to be maintained. Once inside the court, a player needs to carry his sanitizer and ensure a 2m distance is maintained at all times.
Individual knocking is allowed with a coach. In case the balls have been brought by the coach then a player is not allowed to touch them and vice versa.
“We haven’t allowed players to serve, but they can do so, provided they bring their own balls and collect them on their own as well. The idea is to maintain a safe distance and provide a safe environment for players to train. SOPs have been made and the entire area will be sanitised. The response was good for the first day and we hope it will be better tomorrow,” said Romen Singh, chief coach, CLTA.
None of the restrictions, however, mattered to the players considering it was their first outing in two months. “It was nice to finally have a session. The instructions were clear and are for our own safety, so we need to observe them. Mask is not necessary while playing but is important when the coach is giving instructions,” said Nandit Negi, a student who is waiting for his Class 10 results.
A similar set-up was witnessed at the Sector 38 sports complex where 10 badminton trainees had their first session in a long time. “We have sanitised shuttles and players are required to sanitise their equipment before and after the session. Chairs have also been placed at opposite ends. We will have 20 elite players each in the morning and evening sessions from Monday onwards,” said badminton coach Surinder Mahajan.
Meanwhile, weightlifters also enjoyed their first session at the Sector 42 sports complex along with athletes beginning their training at the Sector 7 sports complex and table tennis players ping ponging at Sector 50 sports complex.