Rowers await govt SOPs to start out observe at Sukhna Lake

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 24

After the UT Administration allowed commencement of boating at the Sukhna Lake, local rowers are now eagerly waiting for government’s SOPs to restart their practice. Sports complexes have opened for players and the general public in the city, but rowers are still waiting for the government’s clearance to use boats and equipment.

From the last five months, rowers are working on physical strength and boats are lying unused at the Sukhna Lake rowing coaching centre.

“We have yet to receive any guidelines for using our equipment in water. For single scull, it’s easy to practice in comparison to double and coxless pairs. Even in single scull, we have to sanitise our equipment —from paddle to boat — before landing it in water. So, we are yet to get clearance from the Sports Authority of India (SAI),” said Rakul, a rower.

“I think, it will take some time. We are expecting issuance of SOPs next month. Our rowers are eagerly waiting to practice,” said Rajiv Sharma, general secretary, Chandigarh Rowing Association (CRA). The UT Sports Department also is waiting for government’s clearance for allowing rowers to come back to lake for practicing.

“The sooner they (government) release guidelines, the better it would be for rowers. As winters are approaching, it won’t be feasible to practice regular. Professional rowers should be allowed to practice like swimmers are permitted to use swimming facilities,” said a coach. The only Sukhna Lake rowing centre has over 80 rowing trainees. “I don’t know if any tournament will be held this year or not. But, we have to practice to gain back stamina. It will take over two months to come back in shape. It’s not easy to gain momentum in winters,” said Parul, another rower.

“We are in touch with experts and also considering updates from other states. If SOPs are issued it will help us start the centre as soon as possible. Otherwise, we are expecting to start at the end of this month,” said a sports department official.

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