Sport set to stir to life by year’s end | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, September 28, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:08 AM, September 28, 2020

Sport set to stir to life by year’s end

As the country is gradually stirring back to life amid the threat of the coronavirus, the country's sports fraternity too seems to be preparing to wake up.

Sporting activities in the country had been halted from mid-March until the government lifted the suspension by allowing national federations to start the activities on a small scale in line with health safety guidelines on August 10. Athletes of a few sports – cricket, archery and shooting being the major ones -- then returned to training on a small scale as part of preparation of the national teams.

The Bangladesh Hockey Federation completed a month-long training of junior players, which is supposed to resume in mid-October as part of preparations for the upcoming Asian Junior Hockey Championship, while football suspended scheduled training for the national team after the deferral of World Cup Qualifiers.

Taekwondo was ahead of all sports, staging a poomse tournament early this month and the brave initiative has worked as an eye opener for other disciplines and most mainstream sports federations are planning to resume activities in November and December. Some federations have also taken the decision to hold national championships, tournaments and leagues.

The Bangladesh Weightlifting Federation held the 14th Club Cup tournament with the online participation of 14 clubs this month. Each club sent videos of athletes lifting weights and the federation later declared the winners after assessing the footage. The federation also kept its gymnasium open for national players to practise and also provided assistance to different clubs to continue training.  

"We have decided to start training in 20 districts from October 9 before holding the 26th senior national championship from December 9, though we have already completed the Kata competition for men's senior category online and the junior & cadet kata competitions are still being held virtually," said Bangladesh Karate Federation Vice-president Moazzem Hossain Sentu.

Bangladesh Wushu Federation general secretary Dulal Hossain said: "We are still observing the coronavirus situation cautiously but our players have been training individually. We are planning to hold the taolu competition in late November and take the final decision within next two weeks."

Bangladesh Athletic Federation has already announced the tentative date for the Junior Athletic Championships on November 20-21 at Army Stadium where they also want to stage the national athletic championships on January 15-17.

Bangladesh Football Federation has also announced that the new season of the football league will start from December, having been forced to abandon the previous season after only six rounds. However, it also has plans to complete the Women's Football League by resuming it from November.

"Ahead of three proposed tournaments -- South Asian Junior & Cadet table tennis championships in February, Commonwealth Regional Junior & Cadet competition in March and World Women's Table Tennis Championships in March -- we are going to start training for three categories from October 15," said Bangladesh Table Tennis Federation Vice-president Hasan Munir, adding that they are also planning to hold a ranking tournament before the Premier Table Tennis League in December.

National volleyball captain Horosit Bishwas said that 10 to 12 players alongisde him had stated training in Khulna as the federation is thinking of staging the premier division league in December.

Bangladesh Wrestling Federation has however been on the back foot and are not getting positive responses because of the nature of the game, which is a close contact sport.

"We have issued a circular for the competitions from October 18 but the majority of teams don't want to participate because it is a game of close contact," said BWF general secretary Tabiur Rahman Paloan. "I think it is not possible before December but everything depends on the situation getting better."

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