Finding sponsors will be tough in post-covid era, says president of Maharashtra Squash Rackets Association
Till now we received good support of sponsors to conduct tournaments, but now even they will feel the pinch of the lockdown because of the economic losses so it will be a tough task, says Pradeep KhandreUpdated: May 01, 2020 16:11 IST
With squash steadily gaining popularity in the state, players have been hit hard by the lockdown imposed due to the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Many tournaments and summer camps have been cancelled this year. However, what seems to be troubling the president of the Maharashtra Squash Rackets Association, the most, is funding.
“Sponsors play a very important role in individual sports like squash and even in tennis, I think. Till now we received good support of sponsors to conduct tournaments, but now even they will feel the pinch of the lockdown because of the economic losses and even for us, it will be a tough task to get sponsors in the post-covid era,” said Pradeep Khandre, president, Maharashtra Squash Rackets Association (MSRA).
“Players are disappointed as they are missing a lot of opportunities to train during the summer. We organise camps in various parts of the state under renowned national coaches which is a big help for the players. Pune leg of PSA HCL SRFI India tour (June 13-16) also got cancelled and state players were looking forward to it,” said Khandre.
“Along with Pune and Mumbai, the idea was to conduct camps in other districts as well as players from smaller districts are also showing interest in the game nowadays,” added Khandre.
Social media activities
Since the lockdown, MSRA has been engaging players with various activities on social media and has also advised them to continue practice at home.
“Since the lockdown started, we ran an awareness campaign for our players. Top players of Maharashtra who have represented India – Urvashi Joshi and Mahesh Mangaonkar - helped spread awareness about what the precautions which need to be taken care during the pandemic and exercises which they can continue during the lockdown,” said Khandre.
In Maharashtra, there are 100 coaches and all of them are currently busy in preparing special online programmes for the players.
“Out of 100, 40 are certified level coaches, we have advised all of them to stay in constant touch with the players and work on their fitness at moment. I wish the situation improves soon because personally I feel training in front of a coach is completely different, than training at home,” added Khandre.
Webinar for coaches and players
MSRA has also planned webinars for coaches and players. Association is aiming to conduct sessions with current/past players, coaches, sports physiotherapists and psychologists. “We are finalising the schedule and every day we are planning to conduct one session. It is the best time to conduct these sessions. Sharing of experience by senior players will definitely help upcoming players,” added Khandre.