The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has allowed the opening up of Sports Complexes and Sports stadia in SAI Training Centres to resume sports activities. Accordingly, the Sports Authority of India has drawn up a Standard Operating Procedure for sports activities, to be followed at every sports complex and stadia with the approval the sports Ministry. The SOP incorporates best practices being followed across the world customized to Indian context. “Khelo India-Phir Se” is what we want to covey with this SOP.

The Sports Authority of India had suspended all training activities in all its centers from March 17 owing to the global Corona pandemic and the subsequent nation-wide lockdown from March 24. The SOP recommends principles on which sports in India will be resumed. The document that details the roadmap for pursuing sports activities keeping in mind the health and safety of athletes and all stakeholders, significantly recommends the following:

1) Compliance of Government guidelines on health, social distancing and hygiene

2) All resumption of sporting activities to be in consultation with local authorities, where the sports complex/stadia is situated.

3) There will be a graded resumption of training.

4) The SOP will be applicable to all athletes, technical and non-technical staff involved in training, irrespective of the organization they represent, all administrative staff at the training center, all hostel and facility management staff, visitors at all centers

5) The SOP calls for constant monitoring and management of the health protocols of the government.

6) The SOP lays down the pre-training procedures to be followed by all centers. This includes putting in place a COVID Task Force, deputing a hygiene officer, disinfection of the premises, education and sensitization of athletes and other stakeholders on Covid precautionary measures.

7) The SOP categorises sports into non-contact sports, minimal/medium contact sport, full-contact sport and water sport. Accordingly lays down detailed guidelines for each category.

8) The SOP also lays out DOs and Don’ts for athletes, coaches, support staff, administrative staff and medical staff during the course of training.

The SOP clearly indicates that this is in addition to the existing issued by the Government of India and will be used as an additional document for sporting activities. The government guidelines will supersede the SOP.

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