Pools closed for a year: Swimmers in Ludhiana worried about toll on performance - Hindustan Times
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Pools closed for a year: Swimmers in Ludhiana worried about toll on performance

By, Ludhiana
Jun 18, 2021 12:59 AM IST

Last year, the ministry of home affairs had allowed swimming pools to reopen from October 15. But, they did not reopen in Ludhiana, as training for swimmers here is held between April 1 and mid-October, following which they are shut down ahead of the winters.

Competitive swimmers from the district have been out of the pool for over a year now amid the pandemic and are worried about the lack of training taking a toll on their performance.

Swimmers in Ludhiana say that players of other sports are back on the ground, but they don’t have a place to practice. (HT File)
Swimmers in Ludhiana say that players of other sports are back on the ground, but they don’t have a place to practice. (HT File)

Last year, the ministry of home affairs had allowed swimming pools to reopen from October 15. But, they did not reopen in Ludhiana, as training for swimmers here is held between April 1 and mid-October, following which they are shut down ahead of the winters.

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Swimmers said they have nowhere to go for practice, but players of other sports participating in the national and international levels, are back on the ground. They added that they are exercising daily to keep themselves fit and keeping in touch with their coaches. They are also cutting down on calories, as they are not working out in the pool.

National-level swimmer Anmol Jindal, 21,who represented Punjab in the Khelo India Games last year and bagged a silver medal in 1500 metres freestyle , said, “I learnt swimming at the age of 10 and then started participating in district, state and national level competitions. Due to pandemic, my training stopped as pools were closed. Then, I started cycling and running to stay fit. To practice in the pool, I stayed in Chandigarh for few months. But, they were closed down there also, due to the surge in Covid cases. Pools must be opened up for national-level players so that they can practice for competitions.”

Preeti Kohli, a state-level swimmer, said, “ My friends who had been swimming for the last five years have shifted to other sports, as swimming competitions and practice have come to a halt amid thepandemic.”

Ashish Kumar, 16, who practices at the MC swimming pool near Rakh Bagh, said, “I learnt swimming at the age of 5 and then started participating in the district and state level competitions. Now, I am exercising at home to stay fit. I miss getting into the pool.”

Ajay Sharma, secretary of the District Swimming Association, said, “Due to the pandemic, swimmers have been affected badly as no district, state or national level competitions were held last year. In north India, swimmers practice in the pool from April to October and the rest of the year, they exercise at home to stay fit.”

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