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Desire to play 2022 Commonwealth Games and Asian Games has kept me motivated: Joshna | More sports News – Times of India


CHENNAI: After a prolonged five-month break owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, Joshna Chinappa looks set to resume squash training at the Indian Squash Academy here next week. With the Squash Rackets Federation of India (SRFI) planning to reopen the academy from Monday onwards, national-level players – who are based out of Chennai – are free to return to the courts. Joshna speaks to TOI about her imminent return to training, plans going forward and the potential appointment of a foreign coach in the near future. Excerpts from the interview:
The Indian Squash Academy plans to reopen from Monday. How much are you looking forward to returning to training?
I have spoken to SRFI. The plan is to start training on Monday, but the timings and how it will all work out are still uncertain. Obviously, it will only be a handful of us so that there is enough space and all SOPs are followed properly. I will know how it is going to be like only when I start going there to train.
Is there any anxiety about returning in the current environment when there are still so many Covid cases?
Doing anything right now is a bit risky for sure, but having said that, the academy is big enough for a few of us to play at least. We will be getting our allotted times and there will only be 4-5 of us training. So, the risk will be a lot lesser. There are eight courts and enough distance can be maintained. It is definitely a bit strange to train in a situation like this because none of us are used to this. But I think it’s a big positive that the academy is opening up and they are going to be following all the guidelines properly. The academy will take things gradually and I too would be starting off slowly because I haven’t played for over 4 months.
Has it been hard to find motivation to continue playing or has it renewed your enthusiasm for the sport?
My body has definitely had a good break. I have been on the road since I was 10 years old. I got to spend a lot of time with my family. The tour is unlikely to start anytime soon. So, I will get at least 8-9 weeks to get back and train before any tournament is really finalised. So things have panned out well. Of course, there were moments when it was hard to find motivation. For me personally, the 2022 Commonwealth Games and Asian Games are my goals. That has been my motivation to keep training, playing and wanting to compete. So this has definitely been a nice break. Now I am ready to get back into the thick of things.
The SRFI had recently advertised for the post of a foreign coach and five applications have come in including David Palmer. Considering that the top players have been asking for a foreign coach for quite some time, how pleased are you with the development?
It’s an amazing development. David is a stellar coach. He is someone I have worked with before. If he does come, it will be very good for the Indian team. It will be good to have a coach of calibre travel and work with us. It’s great that SRFI has initiated the appointment of a foreign coach.

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