Our Sports Reporter
GUWAHATI: The Secretary of the Assam Badminton Association (ABA) Omar Rashid feels post COVID-19 period would be a very challenging one for shuttler as well as for the organizers. Omar, who is also the Secretary of Badminton Association of India (Tournaments and Events) in an interaction with The Sentinel revealed the reasons too. Here are the excerpts.
The Sentinel (TS): Badminton is one of the fast growing games in the state. Will lockdown put any negative impact on it?
Omar: Too some extent yes. Players have not got chance to do on court practice which is very essential to improve the skills from last few months. So definitely it would bring some kind of negative impact on the player's fitness and their games.
TS: What ABA is planning to help the players?
Omar: Obviously we have some plans to help the players on their fitness issues. But it would be possible only once we get green signal from the Government to start the activities. At present our coaches are in touch with the players and providing necessary guidance so that they can work on their fitness staying at home.
TS: Perhaps the scenario is almost same in the entire country.
Omar: I should say yes. The big problem is that the players are not getting match practice. Fitness training and match practice should go simultaneously in badminton otherwise it is very difficult to get result.
TS: What challenges you would face once post COVID-19 phase begins?
Omar: I feel both BAI and ABA will face huge challenge once the lock down is over and players start to return court. To arrange different competitions would be tough. Even if Government gives us permission to organize the events, I feel that at the initial stage there would be several restrictions and to organize events smoothly following all the restrictions would be a herculean task. At the same time we can't skip the competitions too as age group tournaments are very important for the young players. There are many players who will switch over to next age group after this calendar year. So if we don't organize the events they will miss the opportunities to play their respective age group for the last time. Only vaccine of COVID-19 can reduce our problems to some extent and we are eagerly waiting for it.
TS: Will there be any impact of COVID-19 on PBL?
Omar: I don't think so. There are enough time in our hand and if the scenario started to change within next two or three months PBL can be organized. However we are not thinking about PBL right now. We are more interested on player's fitness and resumption of State and National Level competitions.