New Delhi, 26 September 2020: With sporting activities set to resume across the country in accordance with the Ministry of Home Affairs' recent guidelines, Hockey India was the first to layout and share a detailed SOPs and guidelines for the same with all member units as early as in April 2020 with the intent to be well prepared and ready for systematic rollout. Since the issuance of MHA orders, Hockey India staff have been in continuous touch with the 31 State Member Units to guide them through the process of resumption of their State & District level training programmes as a proactive measure to help ease the process for them. To further enhance the confidence of the State Units administration staff to resume sporting activities once their respective states issues guidelines to re-open sporting programs, Hockey India has conducted an interactive session with Chief Coaches of the national teams and experienced national players; PR Sreejesh and Savita to further explain the micro-level precautions that could be followed while adhering to the Guidelines issued by Hockey India for a safe return to sporting activities. The session illustrated this process by sharing the first-hand experience of how the National Camp coaches and players are following the set protocol being in the camp for the last 3-4 weeks. 

Since the announced resumption of sporting activities, Hockey India has encouraged all its Member Units to get back on the field and has proactively provided them with the necessary protocols and means to do so well in advance. The SOP laying out for the same will now start to be implemented across the country once the state governments issue their respective guidelines.

Through the webinar, officials from each of the Hockey India Member Units got a fair idea of the precautions that need to be taken by the players on the field such as doing drills in small groups, regular hand sanitization, making a training schedule which builds the intensity steadily over time, regular temperature checks including the precautions to be taken while using shared equipment, so on.

The interactive session held via Zoom platform on 26 September 2020 was attended by the Hockey India Member Units & media which was being recorded. The recorded informative and interactive session will further be published on Hockey India's social media channels on Sunday for the benefit of the general sporting community and public as well to illustrate how the federation is helping Member Units to safely resume sporting activities across the national camp as well as all states. The session intends to help further guide those in the process of resuming sports activities across the country to be able to observe key elements to keep in mind before stepping back in sporting action.

The Indian Men's Hockey Team Chief Coach Graham Reid said that a SOP document made by Hockey India in April has helped the team get back to sports activities.

"Hockey India had put together a standard operating procedure document by April which was I think very valuable for us to take the path back to the resumption of sporting activities.  I briefed my players about the precautions they need to take before they started their activities. I reminded them that every decision we make either takes us closer to our goals or one step further away," said Reid.

Indian Women's Hockey Team Chief Coach Sjoerd Marijne expressed that the resumption of sports activities is a step-by-step process.

"Everyone must be careful while resuming sports activities because if you start too fast or you're doing too much in a short time, then someone could get injured and be out of the game for six months. We need to have patience and resumption of sports activities is a step-by-step process. The players need to get back at their old level without injuries," said Marijne.

Indian Women's Hockey Team Goalkeeper Savita expressed that the national side is very grateful for Hockey India's support during this difficult period.

"This scenario is very different for us. However, Hockey India has always supported us. The federation and SAI devised an SOP when the health crisis started in India and the SOP was a huge help for us. We had meetings with the coaching staff as well and we spoke about following the guidelines properly. The coaching staff have kept us motivated throughout the last few months. We are staying in a safe environment at SAI campus in Bengaluru, but we still have to take care of ourselves," said Savita.

Indian Men's Hockey Team Goalkeeper PR Sreejesh said that the players of the national side have adjusted to the current climate.

"We have understood the fact that we have to adjust to the circumstances and then we have to perform. We got a small break in between and when we came back here, I think everyone was mentally prepared to adjust with the current atmosphere and circumstances. We are residing at the SAI campus in a great manner and we don't miss out on anything. Now, we know the guidelines we need to follow to keep our entire team fit and safe," said Sreejesh.

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