With pools out of bound due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Swimming Federation of India has decided to start an online learning program for coaches across the country to utilise the “golden time”.

The programme titled ‘Swim Coaches Knowledge Series 1’, will be a string of workshops which will start on Thursday and go on till May 14.

Backed by the Sports Authority of India, the daily hour-long sessions will focuss on a blend of technical and soft skills relevant to the professional development of swimming coaches.

“This is a period when we cannot do anything. So we have to make use of this golden time when all coaches are available,” said SFI Executive Director Virendra Nanavati.

“Summer is the peak season for swimming but right now we are totally free. The coaches can use this time to learn about the rules, techniques, training programmes,” he added.

The workshop will be conducted by top international and Indian coaches, including former US coach Chris Martin and Dronacharya awardee Nihar Ameen, and sports science experts.

They will cover a wide range of topics like techniques, doping, nutrition, how to develop an elite swimmer, the current FINA rules, strength and conditioning, mind training etc.

“We have invited several foreign coaches and experts to speak,” Nanavati said.

The federation has received an overwhelming response for its maiden endeavour into the digital space and is also planning a second series if time and situation permit.

“Earlier we thought we would have a set of 200 coaches but we have more than 400 coaches who have already registered. It will become very difficult to manage,” said Nanavati.

“The limit is 500 and SAI itself has 80 coaches on its payroll and they want all of them to be a part of it. We will have to cut down on people. This is not the only series we will have. We are looking at will conducting a second series later depending on the situation and time in our hands.”