CHENNAI: Jeremy Lalrinnunga’s emotional breakdown served as a wake-up call for the Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWLF). It has started organising interactive online sessions on mental health for national campers at NIS Patiala, including Mirabai Chanu. They have been stranded there since March.
The session on Saturday saw psychologist Anjuman Bains have one-on-one interactions with the athletes, coaches and support staff. Most of the athletes were found to be homesick and demotivated in the absence of a fixed calendar.
“Events lined up in immediate future give them a reason to work hard. At the moment, all the events are either postponed or cancelled. Besides, these eight weightlifters (three women and five men) are stuck for months now. So they were feeling demotivated and to some extent depressed. The session helped them to stay positive,” said one of the coaches in attendance.
Bains advised the attendees to focus on short-term weekly targets to achieve the desired results and maintain positivity in day-to-day activities. Jeremy, who had last visited his family two years ago, on June 17 flew back home to Aizawl, Mizoram after he started feeling homesick. The 17-year-old completed the 14-day quarantine at a sports training centre near his residence and went home on Wednesday. He will leave for Patiala on July 18.
He again has to undergo a mandatory quarantine before resuming training. The 67kg weightlifter also attended the session. “He was missing his family and used to cry at night. So we give him special permission to meet his family and organised the session. It was not feasible to send everyone home given the restrictions in place,” IWLF secretary-general Sahdev Yadav told this daily.
“It benefitted the athletes a lot as they opened up with the expert speaking on their state of mind and what’s troubling them. Most of them were homesick and wanted to meet their families. The session helped them in restoring their confidence and chalking out plans for the future. We will continue to conduct such sessions in the future. Maybe, every month,” added Yadav.
Judoka Jasleen back home
India’s top Judoka Jasleen Singh Saini, who was stuck in Georgia since March, reached Gurdaspur on Wednesday. He boarded a flight from Tbilisi to New Delhi on Tuesday. “I will serve a seven-day quarantine in a hotel before self-quarantining myself at my house for another seven days,” the 66kg judoka said.