The apex body of sports in India, Sports Authority of India is trying to help athletes in keeping up with the preparations for the Tokyo Olympics 2021. The nationwide lockdown due to the global pandemic has affected the athletes physically and mentally. Despite the limitations, SAI has ensured that the requirements of athletes are delivered at their doorstep.


It has mapped the elite athletes including those who are in the TOPS (Top Olympic Podium Scheme). While speaking to TOI, an SAI official said, “a total of 107 athletes (including para-athletes) were mapped for their requirements towards their training at home. The equipment requirements of all the athletes were collected and mapped according to SAI regional centres.”

Around 43 help requests were received and half of them have been fulfilled with the help of SAI regional centres, state governments, and NGOs. Also, psychologists would get in touch with athletes to keep them in good mental state in such a depressing period of lockdown. The SAI has also employed nutritionists to look into the sportsperson’s nutritional needs. 


The SAI official said that they have been trying to address the needs of the shooters. He said, “For shooters who have got ranges installed at home, we are trying to provide them with ammunition so that they continue with their training and maintain their focus.”

Here are certain examples of how SAI has helped athletes. 


Wrestler Bajrang Punia has been provided with a Kabaddi mat for the time being. He said that though it is not a wrestling mat, it would help him train in such conditions. 


Shooter Manu Bhankar had requested air pellets, templates, and paper targets and she received it in 3-4 days. She was grateful to SAI for helping her in such tough conditions. 


Several athletes are stationed at SAI centres. For instance, Neeraj Chopra is in NIS Patiala and both the men and women’s hockey team are in SAI Bengaluru. 


We should hope that this initiative of SAI reaches maximum athletes who are stuck in their homes or have been put up in different SAI centres. 

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