CHENNAI: Finally, most of the shooters are arriving in New Delhi for camp for Olympic core group.
The National Rifle Association of India and the Sports Authority of India are all set to create a secure bio-bubble for the athletes in a hotel and at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting range, where the camp will be conducted.
As reported by TNIE on October 8, players, coaches and support staff will be staying in a hotel close to the range. "To maintain safety, zoning of premises by nature of risk category to minimise the contact between campers and range personnel has been planned into Green, Orange, Yellow and Red Zones," SAI, who'll be working alongside National Association of India (NRAI) to maintain Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), said in its release.
While SAI will be handling affairs at the range for the two-month camp which is scheduled to begin from October 15 (players reaching Delhi), the NRAI will be taking care of boarding and lodging arrangements in a hotel, on a single occupancy basis. As reported by this newspaper, the first-half of the camp will go until November 10.
After a week-long Diwali break, the second camp is scheduled to be held from November 18 to December 17. "From the hotel to the entry to the shooting range, it will be the responsibility of the NRAI to maintain the SOP in order to keep a secure bio-bubble," the SAI added. It is learnt that two shooters — World No 1 Elavenil Valarivan and N Gaayathri (both rifle) — may miss the camp, reserved for a total of 32 shooters, 11 coaches and two support staff. As things stand, a coach said that most of the shooters are ready but were hopeful of getting some clarity, especially on food, while living under quarantine in the hotel.
To address the matter, the NRAI apparently held discussions on Tuesday and are expected to brief the shooters/coaches on Wednesday. All the campers are expected to reach on Thursday. Upon arrival at the hotel, they will undergo Covid-19 test. All the 15 Olympic quota winners will also be taking part.
"Everybody has signalled their participation. This is a fresh challenge for everybody involved after outbreak of coronavirus. We're hopeful that it will go smoothly," Rajiv Bhatia, NRAI secretary, said.
Shooters/Coaches coming from outside Delhi will be subjected to quarantine for seven days after arrival. Those from Delhi/NCR can quarantine/self-isolate at their place of stay for the same amount of period. But after home quarantine, it will be compulsory for everyone to stay at the hotel arranged by NRAI.
No one will be allowed to leave before the conclusion of the camp and neither is anyone allowed to join mid-way. This much-awaited camp is a shot in the arm for most shooters as they've have not had proper practice for the last six months or so. It should be noted that NRAI had made two attempts to conduct the camp earlier.