The Sports Authority of India on Sunday announced that the developmental group of shooters will be allowed to use its facilities from next month with the central government further easing lockdown restrictions under its Unlock 4 guidelines. The SAI said shooters of Target Olympic Podium scheme and those at the National Centre of Excellence (NCOE) at the Karni Singh Shooting Range here will begin training from September 2.
The SAI said guidelines of the Health Ministry and its own Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) will be followed strictly during training of the developmental group of athletes. "As India enters Unlock 4, SAI has decided to open up its facilities for Developmental Group athletes," the SAI said in a statement.
"In the first leg, SAI has geared up to open up sporting activities for shooters of the TOP group and athletes of National Centre of Excellence (NCOE) at the Karni Singh Shooting Range (KSSR) from September 2, 2020," it added. The SAI said the decision to open up sporting facilities in a phased manner has been taken to ensure that safety and training continuity of athletes can move hand-in-hand. "Separate slots have been reserved for the Olympic-bound core group of elite shooters to ensure continued training in a safe environment." Some of the elite shooters have been training at the Karni Singh Range since the middle of this month.
On Saturday, the Union Home Ministry decided to allow sports gathering of up to 100 people with effect from September 21 in its Unlock-4 guidelines related to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the new set of guidelines, the ministry lifted the total ban on sports activities, which was earlier put in place till August 31.
However, such limited gatherings can only be held with the mandatory wearing of face masks, social distancing, provision for thermal scanning and hand wash or sanitizer, the home ministry guidelines said. The SAI said it has been opening up its facilities for sporting activities in a phased manner. In the first phase, Olympic and Paralympic-bound athletes began sporting activities at SAI's facilities.