In accordance with the Ministry of Home Affairs’ (MHA) recent guidelines, hockey players in Assam and Manipur have resumed sports activities keeping in mind the detailed SOPs and guidelines provided by Hockey India.
The detailed SOPs and guidelines were shared with all the State Member Units as early as in April 2020 with the intent to be well prepared and ready for systematic rollout. In the state of Assam, approximately 100 players have resumed limited sports activities, Hockey India said in a press release.
The players, who belong to the U-16 and U-19 age group, are focussing on basic drills and are slowly and steadily finding their feet back in the game. The players and the coaches of the State Member Unit, who are currently building towards their next domestic tournament – a Test Event in the first week of November, are following all the necessary protocols provided to them by Hockey India.
While around 150 players, who belong to the U-18 and U-20 categories have resumed sports activities in Manipur, the release added. The state is planning to conduct 21 days of Coaching sessions at various registered districts of Manipur for the seamless resumption of sports activities across the state.
The State Member Units got a general idea about the key aspects to keep in mind while resuming sports activities during an interactive session with Chief Coaches of the national teams and experienced national players; PR Sreejesh and Savita in September. The Chief Coaches and players spoke about their first-hand experience of how the National Camp coaches and players are following the set protocol at the Sports Authority of India campus in Bengaluru since restarting sports activities on August 19, 2020.
Tapan Kumar Das, General Secretary Assam Hockey, in a statement, said: “We are delighted that our hockey players have resumed sports activities. Staying away from the pitch for a long time is difficult for any sportsperson and therefore we are ecstatic that we have found a way to resume sports activities by following the SOP and guidelines provided to us by Hockey India. After attending the interactive session with the Chief Coaches and players of the national teams last month, we got the much-needed confidence to encourage our players to start limited sports activities. We have to ensure that we don’t push our players too hard. They have to move forward steadily.”
Speaking on the resumption of the sports activities in the state of Manipur, Basudev Singh, President Manipur Hockey said, “We are extremely happy that sports activities have resumed in our state. We have been prepared for the restart of the sports activities for many months and therefore we are delighted that the players from Manipur have got a chance to make their way back to the field. We hope that the players get back to their full form as soon as possible. We are very grateful to Hockey India for thinking ahead and putting in the procedures in place at the right time so that the players in Manipur could get back on the field without any trouble whatsoever.”