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Pull up your socks while all sporting events are at a halt.

Bhavya VemuIapalli

Coronavirus gets to be the unanimous winner as it puts everything to halt, and the global sporting landscape is no exception. If it’s sad to miss your favourite game wearing your favourite jersey, and rooting for the favourite team as a fan, imagine what all those sportspersons are going through.

“Sports is a process and not merely a one-day event,” said Shivjot Gill, a doctoral research fellow at the Jindal Institute of Behavioural Sciences, O P Jindal Global University, Sonipat, 40 km north of New Delhi.

Her research area is sports psychology. Her previous accomplishments are majorly in sports, as she represented India in shotgun shooting.

It takes months, and in some cases years, to train for a major sporting event for an athlete. It is genuinely demotivating with everything cancelled at once. No matter how good an athlete is, with challenges like financial concerns, the situation is not only hard but scary.

“There is always hope,” said Anshu Taravath, a national-level kettlebell athlete and the founder of The Future You a fitness studio in Gurugram, Haryana. Covid-19 made her shift from offline to the online mode of training.

“Maybe this is the time to realise the importance of both physical and mental health for any sportsperson to succeed,” she said. “The coronavirus outbreak is part and parcel of the struggles an athlete faces daily. This lockdown’s break will sure make athletes mentally stronger, and the comeback is always powerful.”

With the academies and fitness centres closed, it is a task for athletes to keep themselves fit. The impact is on everybody, but more on the under-represented and marginal sections. Primarily the concern should be more of how to help juniors and under-represented athletes.

You Can’t Stop Us, a video by Nike (activewear manufacturing company) on YouTube already got the ball rolling! This one-and-a-half minute video inspired many. It shows athletes from different walks of life keep practising for perfection, irrespective of unannounced hurdles.

(Edited by Uzair Firdausi and Vaibhav Sharma)