National hockey camps to go ahead as planned

National hockey camps to go ahead as planned
Representational image. IANS

New Delhi: The men's and women's hockey teams at the Sports Authority of India's (SAI's) National Centre of Excellence (NCOE) in Bengaluru will resume sporting activities from August 19, SAI said in a statement on Wednesday. The players had been asked to assemble at the campus on August 4.

SAI said that the decision was made after having "detailed discussions with all stakeholders, including the chief coaches and core probables of both the teams and after giving the utmost priority to the safety and wellbeing of all the athletes".

The schedule hence remains as was planned before despite six players from the men's team testing positive for COVID-19. Striker Mandeep Singh, captain Manpreet Singh, Jaskaran Singh, Surender Kumar, Varun Kumar and Krishnan B Pathak, who have tested positive for coronavirus, have all been shifted to a multi-speciality hospital.

The players had been quarantined and undergoing treatment at the campus itself previously. The six players will rejoin the camp after completing their recovery and quarantine period.

Women's coach Sjoerd Marijne said that the team is happy and "feeling safe".

"Having spoken to all the players about the resumption, I have received a positive response from each of them. We look forward to working hard on the team's fitness in this protected environment," said the Dutchman.

"It is good to know that everyone is eager while making sure their health and wellbeing is our collective priority. We are also in constant touch with the six players who have tested positive for COVID 19. They are in good spirits, and are looking forward to a quick recovery. Once recovered and after following protocol of quarantine, we look forward to having them back with us," said men's coach Graham Reid.

"We are prepared to start sporting activities for the hockey teams. We will provide all logistical support required, as required by the chief coaches of both teams in accordance with SOPs, and ensure that the teams can train in a safe environment," said SAI NCOE Bengaluru Senior Director A K Bahl.

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