Gopichand proposes mini-leagues among top players for sport to resume in India

Mumbai, September 16: India’s legendary badminton coach Pullela Gopichand on Wednesday proposed a novel idea of creating bio-secure bubbles and organising multiple mini-leagues among top athletes for the sport to resume in the country. Athletics Federation of India President Adille Sumariwalla backed the proposal and said that his federation had been…

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], September 16 (ANI): India’s legendary badminton coach Pullela Gopichand on Wednesday proposed a novel idea of creating bio-secure bubbles and organising multiple mini-leagues among top athletes for the sport to resume in the country.

His suggestions come amid the coronavirus pandemic which has brought sporting action across the country to a grinding halt.

Speaking during a webinar titled ‘Sports, Fitness, Lockdown – What is the way forward?’, Gopichand said, “It may not be possible to organise massive national or state level tournaments like we used to pre-COVID, due to social distancing norms. But we can surely look at a number of leagues in each sport among top players, as per their levels.”

Athletics Federation of India (AFI) President Adille Sumariwalla backed the proposal and said that his federation had been working on precisely those lines to keep his athletes in fine fettle and top form with an eye on the Olympics next year.

“Our elite athletes have been in camps since June and will go into deep training from October. We have just chalked out our detailed programme calendar and we are hoping to see serious competition from January onwards,” Sumariwalla said.

“We are confident of a much better show due to the delay in the start of the Olympics as our young athletes will be more mature and better prepared,” he added.

IDBI Federal’s MD and CEO and former Mumbai Ranji cricketer Vighnesh Shahane agreed that the pandemic has come as a blessing in disguise for India.

“Sport is the most pristine form of entertainment. And due to the lockdown, most Indians have taken up some form of sport or fitness activity and are today much fitter than they were six months ago,” Shahane said.

He stressed the need for the commencement of sport at all levels, after the mandatory precautions, as it was the “world’s greatest unifier and uplifter of national sentiment.”

Sumariwalla and Gopichand also underlined the need for categorising India’s top athletes as COVID warriors so that they would get first access to a vaccine against the virus, as and when it was approved. (ANI)

ANA NEWS WIRE Disclaimer:
The African News Agency (ANA) is a news wire service and therefore subscribes to the highest standards of journalism as it relates to accuracy, fairness and impartiality.
ANA strives to provide accurate, well sourced and reliable information across Text, Images and Video. Where errors do appear, ANA will seek to correct these timeously and transparently.
The ANA platform also contains news and information from third party sources. ANA has sought to procure reliable content from trusted news sources but cannot be held responsible for the accuracy and opinions provided by such sources on the ANA platform or linked sites.
The content provided for on the ANA News Wire platform, both through the ANA news operation and via its third party sources, are for the sole use of authorised subscribers and partners. Unauthorised access to and usage of ANA content will be subject to legal steps. ANA reserves its rights in this regard.
ANA makes every effort to ensure that the website is up and running smoothly at all times, however ANA does not take responsibility for, and will not be held liable for times when the website is temporarily unavailable due to technical issues that are beyond our control.