#CongregationsIndia: 2021 Will be Close to Normal for Sports Events - Adile Sumariwala, Olympian

Industry Watch | December 31, 2020 | News

Adile Sumariwala Congregations India Boria Majumdar EVENTFAQS Media Vijay Bokadia

In conversation with sports journalist, academician and author Boria Majumdar at ‘CONGREGATIONS INDIA: Government, Political, Sport & Religious Events Summit’ organised by EVENTFAQS Media on December 24, 2020, Adile Sumariwala, Olympian, Arjuna Awardee & President of the Athletics Federation of India and Vijay Bokadia, Wedding & Event Planner and Restaurateur, Director, Moksh Events, talked about ‘India’s Olympic Dreams: Path to Bridging the Aspiration-Reality Gap’.

Perspective for 2021
During the session, talking about his perspective of 2021 for sports events, Adile Sumariwala said, “I think 2021 is going to be a good year. I think we are moving in the right direction. I strongly believe the Olympic Games will happen. I am one of the first guys who requested the Government to very quickly vaccinate our athletes, the minute it gets approved. We've been training our athletes in a bubble at the moment. Sporting events have started in India, but I think 2021 is going to be pretty close to normal, especially after the first quarter.”

“We can see a lot of things happening and in Calcutta, the first public concert happened for YICII - it was a drive-in concert in the city, so that's good news. At least, things have started moving and people have started coming out,” added Vijay Bokadia.

How sports events will fare
“We've already started holding State championships in Jharkhand. Yes, we spread it out over more days, etc, to reduce crowding... But we are going out there, we are following the SOPs, we are doing everything possible. It is without fans at the moment,” commented Sumariwala.

“One needs to take precautions, but I don't think just staying in a room is going to help anybody. Mental health and physical health are two parts of it, and just staying in a room is going to really screw up your mental health. That's what we've been saying and that's how we've been dealing with our athletes, because they're in a bubble. We're trying to make them as comfortable mentally as possible. They've not seen their families in a while; so it's a complex issue. But we have to open it up slowly because health, sport and events are all interlinked,” he added.

Keeping the audience safe
Speaking about the capability of event managers to ensure audience safety, Bokadia said, “We’ve had a whole lot of safety protocols with respect to all the sports or religious or corporate events. In fact, the wedding season just passed by and there were instances of us executing weddings, where we even had to have COVID-19 tests of our guests every day, technically, before entering the venue or the hotel. These things are there. And yes, we are capable of managing them.”

Olympian Adile Sumariwala believes we have to open things up slowly because health, sports and events are all interlinked. He is also optimistic about the Tokyo Olympic Games.

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