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Swimmers from Tamil Nadu could hit the pool soon

It was announced on Friday that the sports complexes and stadia across the state will be reopened for outdoor training for international and national athletes soon.

Published: 26th July 2020 11:04 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th July 2020 11:04 AM   |  A+A-

Swimming

For representational purposes

Express News Service

CHENNAI : Days after national swimmers requested authorities to allow them to train, the Tamil Nadu State Aquatic Association (TNSAA) has requested the state government to consider reopening the swimming pools — both private and those owned by the Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu (SDAT). 

It was announced on Friday that the sports complexes and stadia across the state will be reopened for outdoor training for international and national athletes soon.

Tamil Nadu is one of the top few states in swimming, especially in age group and women’s. If allowed, TN could be the first state to start swimming training. According to the state government order, gymnasium and swimming pools are not allowed to open.

The TNSAA met with Dheeraj Kumar, secretary of Youth Welfare and Sports Development, and Atulya Misra, additional chief secretary of Revenue and Disaster Management, on Friday to discuss the way forward. 

The sports secretary has asked the swimming body to submit their standard operating procedure (SOP) along with the one released by the Sports Authority of India (SAI). The TNSAA will be meeting the government again on Monday to submit the guidelines.Once the guidelines are approved, the association will begin disinfecting the aquatic complexes.

To ensure that the road to resumption is smooth, TNSAA is planning to allow only swimmers above the age 13 in the initial phase, increase the chlorine content in the water and stop the entry of parents to the venue to avoid crowding. T Chandrasekaran, secretary of TNSAA, said that the association is hopeful of reopening the pools for a limited number of hours per day from August.

“Government has asked us to submit a detailed list of dos and don’ts. There will be mandatory thermal and pulse checking for staff and swimmers. Only a certain number of swimmers will be allowed in a single lane of 25m and 50m. Usually, parents will wait in the aquatic complex until their kids finish training. But it might not be possible once we reopen,” elaborated the secretary. 

Even though the SAI is yet to give a nod to the swimmers across the country to use their facilities, according to Chandrasekaran, the TN government is willing to consider the TNSAA’s request to reopen.

“We have told the government that pools will be open only in two slots (from 5.30 am to 8.30 am and 3.30 pm to 6.30 pm),” he said. The swimming pools in TN have been shut since March 25.

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