Plan to resume national camps from May end: Rijiju

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NEW DELHI: Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju on Sunday said his ministry is devising a plan for phase-wise resumption of national camps for Olympic-bound athletes by the end of this month, PTI reports.

Rijiju said the coronavirus-forced nationwide lockdown, which has been extended till May 17, forced his ministry to delay the resumption of the training camps at Sports Authority of India (SAI) centres. The lockdown was earlier meant to end on May 3.

"The camps will start in a phase-wise manner. First we will start training in NIS Patiala and SAI, Bengaluru where athletes are based currently...by the end of this month training is expected to start in Bengaluru and Patiala," PTI quotes Rijiju as having said at FICCI's webinar titled 'Corona & Sports: The Champions Speak'.

"The camps will be for those sports which have qualified for Olympics or the sports whose Olympic qualification is in future," he said...We will relax things partially looking at the Olympics," he added.

The national camps were suspended in mid-March when the COVID-19 cases began rising in the country.