TODAY -

COVID-19 and keeping the spirit of sportsperson alive in Manipur

Sanasam Yaiphaba Singh *



While declaring COVID-19 a pandemic on 11 March 2020, World Health Organisation (WHO) Director General said, “This is not just a public health crises, it is a crises that will touch every sector. So every sector and every individual must be involved in fighting.’ WHO also declared strategies and plans to provide support to all countries to prepare and respond to COVID-19.

Government of India is taking all necessary steps to contain the spread of the disease, one major step being the Janata Curfew on 22 March, 2020 followed by complete lockdown from 24 March, 2020. India declared that every district, every lane, every village would be under lockdown. We accept the challenge and fight to control it. Now we all know how to manage the crisis.

During such crisis youths particularly sportspersons who are actively engaging in mental and physical activities in their field of sports may consider to take due responsibility in fighting the spread of the virus thinking that the present challenge is an opportunity to serve the people and assist the government, and also to help themselves by improving their skill and knowledge in their respective games by using social networks.

With the gradual and indiscriminate invasion of COVID-19 all the international, national, states and local sports events have been cancelled suspended or postponed. This condition not only affects in every aspects of organising sport events but most importantly the mental and physical standard of players and athletes.

It has created a very unfortunate and unexpected situation. It is obvious that this is the time to prevent the spread of the virus among us at any cost. But, at the same time we can think of keeping the spirit of sportspersons alive in Manipur.

It would be a big question if the activities of the players and athletes in the play ground and field are at a standstill while the lockdown is continuing, as to how they would spend their valuable time which would otherwise affects the game sprits and standard in terms of performance in the state like Manipur where there are a large number of players and state is being declared as power house of India.

Since sports activities which involve playing and practicing are totally not possible during lockdown. They have to do at least some kind of possible physical and mental practice at home which will able to maintain their physical standard which once reduced, would take time to regain.

Thus, in such situation, the only activity that can be performed for playing and competition is the mental work through online or net in mobile handset or computer.

Players have the option to take advantage of using the YouTube, other networks or sport channels to activate their skill and spirit by observing and analysing the video clippings of the performance of the teams and players of international tournaments instead of playing games and watching other undesirable video in mobile or computers.

Such activities of the youth would certainly help themselves in the process of concentration of their mind to utilise their energy to gain new knowledge and technique in the respective field of sport without physical activities and competitions.

The state coaches of different discipline of the games, sports psychologists and sport managers would like to take such opportunity to select and recommend useful video clips on sport coaching and performance which would influence the players to equip with new knowledge and skill so as to enable them to update their skill and also to maintain sport spirit and temper during the period of lockdown.

In Manipur sportspersons should not consider the time of the standstill of sport activities as off season. They should not go away from the spirit of the games that they prefer to achieve success. Rather they should concentrate their mind on their respective games and keep themselves physically and mentally prepared as how to play with more efficiencies and competency.

They should also try to apply the techniques which have learnt from the internet during lock down period. In a nutshell the above points which I have mentioned may be the challenges for all the sports persons during such time.

In spite all these challenges the players are to be mentally well prepared so as to enable them to go ahead of Manipur from power house to super power house of sports in India. To overcome these challenges sportspersons should act and think positively. They should play important role in boosting morale of nation and spreading positivity.

Athletes and players play and fight with vigour sport and team spirit for bringing glory of the state and nation, and in the same spirit the sportspersons would like to fight COVID-19 for the state and the nation while they introspect about their own comparative advantage and weakness in their respective fields of the games.

Sports also involve love, devotion and dedication. It is also a right time for sportspersons to actively involved in awareness programmes and following government appeal, guidelines and strategies in fighting COVID-19.

We should have the awareness that even after the end of the lockdown; it is likely to take a long time to return to normalcy. The reason is that the concerned authorities or experts may take long time to eradicate or control the spread of virus completely unless the root cause of disease is known and also unless fighting is to continue to stop fresh outbreak.

Such situation may create panic or apprehension in the minds of the sports persons. So we should not neglect the psychological effect or mental stress which is likely to be inflicted in the mind of the players as result of the uncertainty and rapid spread of the disease all over the world, sudden declaration of the lockdown and the continuous confinement to home.

We ought to understand the situation and manage it in the best possible way. It is a time to seek suggestions and advice from veteran players and sport psychologists, and concerned sport authorities may examine the adverse effect in the mind of players. Feedback from coaches and players, view and voice of all concerned would be required for streamlining the future course of action.


* Sanasam Yaiphaba Singh wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer can be reached at yaiphabafff(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on April 27, 2020.



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