While the Tamil Nadu government has relaxed lockdown rules permitting sports training without spectators in Chennai, Chengalpet, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur districts of the state, competitive sports activities could take a month to start in Chennai and the adjoining districts.
The Tamil Nadu Tennis Association (TNTA) conducts tournaments in various age groups and also the interstate league but the competitive sport will take time, according to the organisers.
A senior TNTA office-bearer while speaking to IANS said, "Government has allowed practice without any spectator while maintaining Covid protocol but the players are spread across the state. It will take time for them to come back to Chennai to participate in training and to increase their fitness level to start playing. There are several local and inter-state tournaments pending and we expect the competitive sports to commence soon and we are at home even without spectators."
The Chennai Hockey Association is also keen to start training programme but only after a detailed meeting with officials, umpires, players, and club officials.
Viswanathan, former Kerala state hockey player and presently an office bearer of Chennai hockey club told IANS, "We are happy that the training will commence soon but for the game to survive, competition is a must and players have to go through the rigours of competitive sport for them to be equipped mentally. Our players are also spread out in different parts of the state and it will take a couple of weeks for them to be back in action in the city."
Similarly, Volleyball, Basketball and Table Tennis clubs and office bearers are upbeat on the government decision to commence training of sports in Chennai and adjoining districts.
Muthuvel R., a volleyball player with a club in Chengalpetu and expecting to don the Tamil Nadu colours one day, told IANS, "I am really happy that the government has allowed training of sports. I will now have to increase my fitness level and start playing in the club. Our club has all the facilities and my aim is to break into the Tamil Nadu junior team and later play for the country. I don't know whether it is a tall wish, but I am confident that I will make it one day."