NEW DELHI: Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju is hopeful that the country will be able to conduct sporting competitions by early next year.
Sporting action in India was halted in March, when camps were shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the past few months, the athletes have resumed training gradually. “Initially I thought in the month of October some sporting activity could have taken place but it couldn’t happen because COVID cases are rising,” Rijiju said during SportCom’s Annual General Meeting on Saturday.
“Though we have no sporting competitions now but as I see things emerging hopefully a vaccine will come out soon. Early next year we will have some kind of very fascinating events back in the field,” he added.
India has recorded over 64 lakh cases with more than one lakh people succumbing to the deadly virus.
There have also been cases of elite athletes getting infected including several hockey players, shuttlers N Sikki Reddy and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and wrestler Vinesh Phogat. The minister informed that he is constantly reviewing the progress of sportspersons who have begun training and added that training for juniors athletes will begin soon.
“Elite athletes are given proper training. I’m taking review of the progress on almost a daily basis. Barring a few disciplines all elite athletes are training and coaching is going on. And very soon we will start training for juniors also.”