CHENNAI: In its bid to restart training of weightlifters stuck at NIS Patiala, Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWLF) has framed a standard operating procedure (SOP) and sent it to the Sports Authority of India (SAI). The SOP recommends key changes, including separate training platforms and personalised chalk bowls for each weightlifter while training at the SAI centre.
Nine weightlifters (six men and three women including former world champion Mirabai Chanu) are stranded in Patiala since the lockdown came into effect on March 25.“We have prepared the SOP and sent it to SAI. We are waiting for SAI’s instructions for resuming training of our athletes at the centre,” said Sahdev Yadav, IWLF’s secretary-general.
Among the measures recommended is restricted use of platforms. “We have 16 training platforms and one competition platform in Patiala. They have a 1.5m gap. Given the number of weightlifters at the centre, every alternate platform can be used for training which means we can ensure more than six feet of distance between two, in compliance with the norms. Three weightlifters used to train on the same platform in the past,” said an official who was a part of the group that framed the SOP.
There will also be separate containers of chalk dust, which lifters use for better grip. “Every weightlifter has his/her barbell but separate platforms means they will also have separate chalk bowls. Other recommendations include disinfecting equipment, wearing protective gear, etc.”
IWLF also requested the SAI to allow weightlifters to train outdoors for maintaining fitness. “They have been confined to their rooms for around 60 days. We have enough space and the weightlifters can be divided into two batches for outdoor training. They are eager to train and we hope our SOP will help the weightlifters return to normal training routine.”