IOA boss Narinder Batra dejected by cold response from NSFs

India's sporting community, including athletes, favours a resumption of training as soon as the COVID-19 lockdown ends completely, according to a survey conducted by the Indian Olympic Association. But IOA is disappointed that many stakeholders did not contribute to the exercise. The IOA President Narinder Batra last month asked athletes, support staff, National Sports Federations (NSFs), State Olympic Associations (SOAs), to respond to a set of questions on the way forward in the wake of the pandemic which has brought sporting activities to a grinding halt worldwide.

More than 75 per cent of the 450 respondents said it would be appropriate to resume training as soon as the lockdown ends, but with strict protocols on social distancing and personal hygiene. The government imposed the lockdown in March and began offering relaxations on the restrictions at the end of last month. "Training for national campers should be allowed immediately upon lifting of lockdown while other training should be put on hold until later in the year," the White Paper said.

Batra expressed disappointment at the lukewarm response from majority of NSFs and State Olympic Associations. Those who responded included national federations of hockey, athletics, boxing and weightlifting among others.

"I am disappointed that most of NSFs or SOAs have not contributed to the study in any way, not even indirectly by sharing the survey with their constituents. In fact, I gathered from a number of athletes that their respective NSFs did not share the survey with them at all," he said.

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