Waiting game: TN swimmers' return to training likely from early November

For representational purposes
For representational purposes

CHENNAI: Even though the Ministry of Home Affairs has granted permission to reopen pools for competitive training of sportspersons from Thursday, swimmers in Tamil Nadu have to wait a bit longer to get into the water. It is understood that the state government is considering reopening pools in the first week of November.

Though the coronavirus pandemic situation has not improved significantly, the cases are starting to decline in Tamil Nadu. The state government wants to tread cautiously and wait for a few more weeks before they permit swimmers to train.

Athletes across disciplines barring the water sport have already begun their training in the state. On Tuesday, the Swimming Federation of India president RN Jayaprakash along with Tamil Nadu State Aquatic Association (TNSAA) secretary T Chandrasekaran met with Atulya Misra, additional chief secretary of Revenue and Disaster Management, to discuss the road ahead.

The TNSAA has also submitted the standard operating procedure released by the central government. "The state government initially said they will consider reopening the swimming pools only after November 15 or so. They still feel it's risky to allow simmers in pools now. But we have requested them to grant us permission in the first week of November," said Chandrasekaran.

"Even we have safety concerns. But we need to allow swimmers to get back to training at some point since they are out of practice for more than six months," added the secretary. Pools across the state have been shut since March owing to coronavirus pandemic.

Cleaning and sanitising of the pools owned by the Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu are already in progress.

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