Covid-19: summer coaching camps in city partially hit

Covid-19 fear: summer coaching camps in city partially hit

Several coaching camps in the city could witness low registrations owing to the Covid-19 scare. dh file Photo

The outbreak of coronavirus has affected the world of sport like never before. Sports enthusiasts have had less to cheer about as the repercussions of Covid-19 range from major events being cancelled or postponed, to tournaments being played in front of empty stands.

Summer vacations are around the corner and many sports academies are gearing up for camps. While the number of people with a fear of contracting the coronavirus is fast increasing, popular coaches in the city across disciplines chose to stay optimistic about the present situation. 

“We begin summer camp on 28 March which gives us more time for the commotion about the virus to decrease,” said Irfan Sait, the Director of the Karnataka Institute of Cricket (KIOC). “We obviously don’t wish it on anybody and being an eternal optimist as a sportsperson we look at only the positives,” he said.

Sait, however, fears that following Central governments diktat banning public gatherings, it would affect the conduct of coaching camps. Already two foreign coaches, one each from Australia and England, who were scheduled to visit his academy with a set of young cricketers, have cancelled their trips, he said.

On the swimming front, too, many parents, who had enrolled their kids in public pools, are reportedly demanding a refund following positive cases of virus infection in the city.   

“We aren’t enrolling students yet as the camps begin from 30 March but have received mails regarding government directives such as the ones issued for schools,” said Nisha Millet, head coach of the Nisha Millet Swimming Academy. “According to a study by the WHO, water is one of the safest places to be in with recommended levels of chlorine. Since we conduct camps with limited students in private pools, 5-star hotels, and apartments, people are not hesitating unlike in public pools where many parents are demanding a refund already,” she remarked.

Basavanagudi Aquatic Centre head coach Padmanabh Rao admitted that there was decrease in the number of enrollments compared to previous years. “... But we haven’t faced any cancellations from the ones who have already registered. We are checking the PH value and chlorine levels in the water thrice a day. As long as the water is well maintained ensuring 7.5 PH value, residual chlorine level at 1 ppm after usage, and good clarity, there is no way of spreading virus due to swimming in a pool,” Rao said.

Pro Badminton Academy head coach Jagadish Yadav, though, saw a brighter side in these bleak times. He was of the view that since people are cancelling their summer holiday travels, kids are more likely to join coaching camps.   

“Since the travel industry has taken a major hit, I think this will benefit us positively as more parents will be interested in their children signing-up for sports camps. So far, there is no slump whatsoever in the admissions for the upcoming two-month programme,” said Yadav.

Nikki Ponnappa, a golf coach in Karnataka Golf Association and Coorg Golf Links, said there has been no concern by either trainees or their parents about the Covid-19.  

“The children I coach are more aware about personal hygiene which is a good change,” said Ponnappa. “I am looking forward to a busy coaching schedule in the coming months as there is hardly any skepticism amongst parents about their children golfing.”

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