‘Cooking, cleaning - helping out mom is really fun’: Shooter Anjum Moudgil enjoying time at home amid COVID-19 scare
With rigorous travel for training and competitions, the athletes do not get to spend a lot of time with their family. Anjum says this is a good time for everyone to stay home and be with their loved ones.Updated: Mar 24, 2020 13:20 IST
Shooter Anjum Mougil returned home to Ludhiana earlier this week on Wednesday after the trials in Delhi. She had been training continuously for months, and now with the uncertainty posed by the coronavirus pandemic on the sporting schedule, the Punjab shooter is hoping to spend some time with her family and relax.
“Till 31st it’s off for us, so I am just going to work out at home and be with the family. As nothing is confirmed for the upcoming months,” she tells Hindustan Times in an exclusive interview.
At a moment when India and most of the world is on lockdown due to the spread of COVID-19, Anjum says she is enjoying helping out her mother in household chores. Known to be an avid artist, the Punjab shooter is also working on a few paintings at home.
“I was, anyhow, planning to take a break after the ISSF World Cup in New Delhi. Since now we are all at home, I am resting and spending time with everyone at home. I am also painting, and planning to work on as much artwork as possible. I am also cooking and working out at home - cleaning and all sorts of help with my mom is really fun,” she says.
With rigorous travel for training and competitions, the athletes do not get to spend a lot of time with their family. Anjum says this is a good time for everyone to stay home and be with their loved ones. “I feel it’s really good for many athletes who got this compulsory time with the family and to be at home. It is important to do so as well,” she says.
When things started escalating
Anjum was in Delhi at the training camp earlier this month. In about two weeks, the first ISSF World Cup was about to take place in about two weeks, and Moudgil’s training was going well, and as per schedule. Then slowly, things began to turn. Due to the outbreak of coronavirus across the world, athletes from six nations decided to not participate in the tournament. Later, ISSF announced that ranking points were removed from the tournament. A few days later, the tournament was postponed. Anjum recalls it was a time of confusion for the shooters at the camp.
“We were confused in regard to our competition schedules for upcoming months. Several other sporting events across the globe were also getting affected, so we were aware that nothing can be predicted. We were waiting to see and have the final and confirmed news about the competition. We remained focused on out training, though, no matter what the scenario,” she recalls.
When the tournament was postponed, Anjum admitted that several shooters were disappointed. “We were waiting for this competition,” she says. “But everyone understood the importance of competitions being postponed and cancelled.”
This was also the time when the shooters were getting calls from worried parents from back home. “Obviously the parents worry about their kids and they wanted us to be back home because the situation in India was starting to deteriorate,” she says. After a meeting with the NRAI President Raninder Singh, and the coaches, it was decided that the players will stay at the camp till till the trials are completed, and then they returned home.
On Tokyo Olympics
The coronavirus pandemic has also put a massive question mark on the viability of holding the Tokyo Olympics in June this year. Several sporting bodies, including United States Track & Field (USATF) have called for the postponement of the tournament. When asked if it would be possible to hold the Olympics this year, Anjum said: “I am doubtful about this. But looking at the conditions, I think it’s best if we wait for a month and get a clearer picture about upcoming competitions.”
Anjum was one of the first Indian shooter to bag a Tokyo Olympics quota in 10m air rifle. She did so after winning a silver medal at ISSF World Championship in Changwon in September 2018. Now, having to put everything on the back-burner is a difficult task for the 25-year-old.
“Yes, it’s difficult at this time to leave the training and competitive environment behind, especially when the Olympics are just a couple of months away. But this is a global issue and everyone should be responsible at this time,” she said.
“I advise everyone to be safe and responsible citizens and self-isolate themselves at home. Use the time at home properly and don’t panic,” she signed off.