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All India Tennis Association Eyeing Resumption of Training for Players in September

All India Tennis Association

All India Tennis Association

All India Tennis Association is planning to restart activities with training camps for players in September but things can change with updates on coronavirus pandemic.

The All India Tennis Association (AITA) is working on resuming activities, starting with training camps for players in September. The national governing body for tennis informed Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju of their plan in a meeting he had with presidents and secretary generals of 15 National Sports Federations (NSF) on Thursday.

"The minister said that he agrees to whatever we are trying to say and asked us to send accross proposals," AITA Secretary General Hironmoy Chatterjee told IANS on Thursday.

Chatterjee said that the players will need to go through a training camp first before they can get back to any competitions due to the long break that has been enforced due to the lockdown.

"September onwards we have to start camps. Players have been doing some training on their own but they will need to get back to full fitness for playing matches. Then after that we will start looking at holding domestic competitions and possibly sending players for international competitions.

"This is the only way we can go because the entire schedule that was made earlier has gone because of this lockdown. Both internationally and domestically.

"The budget that we have was for until September so we have also asked the government to allow us to use it further for the programme that we have planned. We have also asked for additional support because getting any kind of financial assistance from the market does not seem possible considering the current circumstances."

Chatterjee however said that these plans are all subject to change according to how the COVID-19 situation develops. "We had earlier thought of July as a good time to restart but obviously that was not possible so we initially shifted to August and now September. There is no guarantee that what we are saying we will be able to do because no one knows what will be the situation at that time," he said.

AITA was one of 54 NSFs whose provisional recognition had to be withdrawn by the ministry to comply with the Delhi High Court's order from Wednesday. However, Chatterjee said that he is not too worried.

"That is more of a procedural issue than anything else. They will sort it out, I am not too worried about it," he said.