CHENNAI: International athletes of Tamil Nadu will soon be allowed to use sports facilities in the state after being confined to home for over two months. In a welcoming news for athletes in Tamil Nadu, sports complexes and stadia might open for training next week.
The Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu (SDAT) held a meeting with the government on Wednesday and will submit standard operating procedures (SOP) on Friday. After approval, the plan is to open facilities initially for international and national athletes for fitness purposes. The SOP, on similar lines to the one released by Sports Authority of India, will be applicable in facilities owned by SDAT across the state.
A date for reopening, however, is not fixed yet. “We intend to open the stadium for elite sportspersons for fitness. Gradually, we may allow state-level athletes. We have framed the SOP for SDAT complexes only,” said a top SDAT source. After the central government gave the nod for sports complexes and stadia to reopen, SDAT did not open its premises because of considerable rise in Covid-19 cases in the state.
“After nearly three months of no outdoor training, athletes can’t straightaway jump to third gear. The threat is increasing. Reopening facilities shouldn’t cause spread of the infection,” said an official. Maintaining social distance and hygiene will be priority. Thermal checking, sanitisation and no sharing of equipment are among the protocols. Cleaning and disinfecting will take at least a week. At JN Stadium, which is used as a shelter for migrant workers, only the synthetic track can be used for fitness drills. Indoor stadiums will be opened later.