The coronavirus may have kept sporting activities in the country halted for the last four months, bringing misery to athletes, But it has helped coaches of different disciplines by affording them an opportunity to become more resourceful through participation in online workshops and coaching courses.
Organisers have started online competitions in shooting, chess, wushu and other disciplines.
BKSP coach Abdullah Hel Kafi has attended one workshop and four courses on topics such as 'strength and conditioning training', 'optimising talent identification and specialisation in sports', and 'young athlete development'.
"The pandemic helped me improve my knowledge through online workshops and courses. We don't often get the opportunity to participate in such courses. Besides, there is also a question of money for travelling if the courses are held abroad," Kafi, Bangladesh's lone Level-3 sprint coach, told The Daily Star.
"I learned new things from these courses and remembered things I had forgotten. Coaches from different countries took part and I can now communicate with them in future," said the country's former fastest athlete.
Kafi, however, is frustrated at not being able to train athletes.
"The only disappointment for me is that I can't go to the track for training my dear students," said the 40-year-old who guided Jahir Raihan to the 200m semifinal of World Junior Athletic Championships.
Explaining the need for relationship with guardians of the athletes, Kafi said, "I think the course on young athlete development will help develop athletes from the grassroots level at BKSP because this course emphasises on improving communication with athletes as well as their parents. We hardly talk to guardians of the athletes but it is important if we want to bring out the best from the athletes."
Kafi, who joined BKSP in 2009 from National Sport Council after ending his athletics career in 2006, completed a diploma on 'Youth Academic Coaches course from Singapore in November last year. He started the course in 2017 and submitted his year-long practical project on "sprinter Jahir Raihan' on October 2018 and emerged second out of 12 candidates.
Kafi believes talent identification is more important to get success at international level and suggested to have a combined talent hunt instead of separate programmes.
"NSC and BKSP are running talent hunt programmes separately, but there should be a combination and the authority concerned should set a national norm in talent hunting. If we can do this together, we can hope to get good athletes in future," said Kafi.
"I have already held an online discussion with 10 to 12 coaches to share my knowledge. I know I can train only 10 students of BKSP which will not help athletics across the country. If I can transfer my knowledge among 10 other coaches and they can train 10 athletes each, the number of athletes will be 100 and those athletes will get right information from their coaches," added Kafi.