Srinagar, June 11: The e-Sports learning programme started recently by the J&K Sports Council “to keep athletes focused” so that they may “not lose any mental orientation” in times of COVID-19 lockdown will continue for the time being despite the resumption of some games in Jammu and Kashmir since Wednesday.
“Though this is a short-term programme, the necessity of which was felt during the COVID pandemic; we will continue it till the situation demands,” Nuzhat Ara, Divisional Sports Officer, told Greater Kashmir. The programme includes training athletes from around 20 sports disciplines through pre-recorded videos by in-house and professional coaches of Sports Authority of India (SAI) as well as by sports experts. These videos are uploaded on various social networking sites of the J&K Sports Council. All those games having physical contact stopped activities and postponed the leagues and competitions in wake of the second wave of coronavirus that began across India in mid April.
However, with ease in Covid restrictions since last week, the registered trainees of Cricket and Football academies of J&K Sports Council on Wednesday returned to fields for sporting activities. Both these games fall in the ‘Non-contact’ sports category. Many games, Nuzhat said, require practice and have resumed since yesterday. “Apart from cricket and football, we also started many indoor games like Martial Arts, Judo and even swimming. As of now, the athletes are trained individually keeping in view the COVID appropriate behaviour,” she said.
An official at the Sports Council said the online sports training programme is the “first of its kind” initiative in the country aimed at keeping athletes fit amid the coronavirus lockdown. He said while some games resumed, many more shall follow with the improvement in COVID situation.
“First there were two categories of sports – indoor and outdoor; however since the emergence of COVID-19, they are being identified as Full-contact, Semi-contact, Limited-contact and Non-contact sports. As Covid restrictions have been eased, the Non-contact sports resumed their activities. Some Semi-contact sports also opened but are held under strict observance of COVID protocols,” the official said.
He however said that the e-Sports learning programme will continue to keep the sportspersons focused on their games. “We have received a good response to the initiative,” he said.