KOCHI: The uncertainty brought on by Covid-19 has affected all areas of life. The same can be said about bodybuilders, and school and college-level athletes. Closing down of gyms and the necessity of social distancing have made it difficult to train under professional instructors.
Athletes confined to their homes have no option but to continue their fitness training with several constraints. “Training without an instructor can lead to injuries. For now, we are focussing on fitness and strength workouts. But training for athletic events without supervision could lead to athletes picking up wrong techniques that can affect their performance,” said Shibi Mathew, physical education instructor of Mar Basil Higher Secondary School, Kothamangalam who has trained state, national and international athletes.
Off-season training by camps which takes place during the months of April and May when athletes train extensively in their sport, had not been possible this year. “Fitness workouts have shifted online with trainees sending in videos of their sessions at home. But the lack of equipment affects the training. For those in containment zones, a daily run is not possible. In a regular academic year, athletes attend two practice sessions everyday,” added Shibi.
“There has been no intimation regarding the schedule of annual sporting competitions so far. But maintaining their fitness will help athletes get back in form faster. They will be able to participate in competitions with just three months of training under a coach, if fitness is maintained,” said Shibi. The sports calendar starts in November with district-level events and concludes in March with national competitions.
For Aparna Roy, a second-year college student and silver medal-winning athlete in South Asian Games, the lockdown has been all about maintaining fitness and strength. ”We receive workout videos from trainers. I try to make do with the equipment available at home and hope to jump back to form in time for the next season of competition. Since I run 100 metre hurdles, practising without guidance is not advised,” said Aparna.