NEW DELHI: Due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in certain parts of the country, quite a few states have pulled out of the upcoming junior archery nationals while many other units want it to be postponed.
The junior nationals is set to be held in Dehradun, Uttarakhand from March 7-15.
Six states -- Tripura, Kerala, Sikkim, Karnataka, Goa, Telangana have already withdrawn citing a variety of reasons. The current SOP issued by the Uttarakhand state government mentions mandatory negative RT-PCR reports for people arriving from certain states.
In their official withdrawal letter, Kerala has mentioned the fact that their journey itself will take more than 60 hours and there are chances of the athletes contracting the virus during travel. A few state units have also raised questions regarding how the young archers will be isolated and who will take care of them if anything serious happens.
Teams from sensitive states like Maharashtra -- which has a contingent from Amravati -- are set to take part and there is a growing concern about the safety aspect. Many state associations have spoken to the Archery Association of India and asked them to postpone the meet, but nothing concrete has appeared from it.
The Prime Minister has written to the Uttarakhand Archery Association to wish them the best of luck as competitions resume and that has been circulated among all state units as a show of encouragement but quite a few states remain wary. Quite a few associations are having to deal with calls from concerned parents on a daily basis.
"While the competition is important keeping in mind the future of these young athletes, but surely it cannot be more important than their health. We are still hopeful that the event might yet be postponed," said the secretary of one of the associations mulling over whether to withdraw.
Even for the AGM which is set to be held on the sidelines of the junior nationals, many state units are discussing whether to go or not. One of the topics which will be heard on March 7 is whether the Senior Nationals will go ahead as planned in Chittaranjan or whether alternative arrangements will be required.