As the world continues to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, the Olympic and Paralympic Movements across the globe have been affected. The country’s para-athletes are forced to continue their training process at home with the shut-down of stadium and training facilities in their respective cities.

Teenage Para shooter Avani Lekhara from Jaipur said that she is doing a lot of dry firing at home.

“It took some time for me to process what was happening around. Then I made a fresh training programme and started with yoga and mental exercises to calm my nerves and focus on positive things. For shooting training, as I can’t do live firing at home, I am doing a lot of dry firing and wall holding which we can do without pellets and ammunition. And these will also build my core muscles.

“I am also doing virtual training on the start machine, and have arranged a lot of gym equipment like dumb bells, thera bands, weights and gym ball to continue my physical training, which I am doing two hours a day,” she told Paralympic Committee of India.

Meanwhile, javelin thrower Sandeep Chaudhary was forced to shift his training base from JLN Stadium in New Delhi to his home at Gurugram and, it’s been three months now that he hasn’t trained with his Javelin.

“As the lockdown was relaxed a bit in the last couple of weeks, I have started training alone in a field near my home. In the last two months, the focus has been more on basic fitness and mental strengthening. I have not started a strenuous workout with my javelin and just keeping my body in shape with light exercises. A good diet and some meditation are also in my daily routine. Just hoping to get back to train with my javelin soon,” said Chaudhary.

Top Para badminton player Sukant Kadam, who returned home from his training base in Lucknow in the first week of March, says he is focusing on mental and physical exercises at home with no badminton court around.

“I started playing outdoor badminton for a while, but as the virus was spreading it became impossible. So, I am continuing my mental and physical training at home. I am in touch with my mental trainer (Gayatri Varthak) over the phone and we plan our weekly routine. I feel more confident now after a couple of weeks of training. Day by day my thoughts and mental strength are improving. In physical training, I am strengthening my muscles and trying to stay fit as much as I can,” said Kadam.

The coronavirus pandemic has brought the entire world to a standstill and the sporting arena is no exception. Most of the high profile tournaments including the Olympics and Paralympics stand postponed.

Even the biggest cricketing spectacle on the planet, the Indian Premier League (IPL), stands suspended indefinitely owing to the coronavirus pandemic. Bundesliga, La Liga, Serie A and Premier League have recently become the high-profile sporting events to resume after almost a three month period with almost no sporting activity.

A few cricketing boards around the world have only recently granted permission to their players to resume training.

The move to restart sporting leagues and tournaments comes after governments are beginning to realise that the coronavirus is here to stay for quite some time and sports among other businesses will need to find a way to co-exist with it.

The virus has already infected more than 8.5 million people around the world while claiming over 450 thousand lives. There is still no sure shot treatment of the disease and social-distancing, self-isolation and maintenance of basic hand hygiene remain the only potent weapons of protecting oneself from contracting the infection.

(With inputs from IANS)