A parliamentary panel has recommended that the athletes going for Olympics 2021 and their support staff, including the coaches, should be put in the priority group for coronavirus ( COVID-19 ) vaccination.
The Standing Committee on “Education, Women, Children, Youth and Sports”, headed by BJP MP Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, in its report on “Preparation of Olympic-2021” submitted to Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday mentions about bio-bubbles for the teams going for the Olympics.
In the 2016 Olympics, India won only two medals-one silver and one bronze.
The panel has said that a lot of decisions have to be made keeping the pandemic conditions in mind. It has asked the government to reopen the training facilities, which are still shut.
The committee has noted that the extended lockdown and the travel restrictions had meant that sportspersons had lost international and even national competition exposure. “The Department and National Sports Federations must ensure that players get an opportunity to play maximum international tournaments before the 2021 Olympic Games. International competitions should be accorded priority as they prepare athletes for pressure situations they may find themselves in during actual Olympics,” it stated.
The committee has directed the government to create bio-bubbles in the training facilities where the athletes can isolate themselves in a secure environment and train with minimal possibility of being infected. “Ensuring bio-bubbles for the Indian athletes and sportspersons at the Olympics. Giving individualised programmes to athletes capable of reaching finals or medal hopefuls and also providing for sending them abroad as soon as possible in a bubble environment where top scientific infrastructure is available,” it said.
As a lot of time has been lost during the extended nationwide lockdown, the government should cut bureaucratic red-tapism. “The government should be swift in making decisions and granting approvals, viz, financial grants, equipment, representation in international competitions, etc. to avoid unnecessary delays. Government should be prepared in dealing smoothly and quickly with any unforeseen situations that may arise due to COVID,” it added.