New Delhi: Locked inside the SAI (Sports Authority of India) centre due to the COVID-19 forced restrictions, Indian Hockey players are utilising their free time to hone their English language skills, reading books and watching their favourite movies. Indian men and women hockey teams are practicing at SAI centre Bengaluru where no unauthorised person can enter the campus. Despite the uncertainty over Tokyo Olympic Indian hockey teams are following their rigorous training schedules.
Senior member of men’s team goalkeeper PR Sreejesh is reading books which were in his wish list for a while. He told PTI,
Our routine is as usual but we get free time on Sundays and Wednesday evening. We work on fitness and recovery. I have read Da Vinci Code, autobiography of Helen Keller. I have some more books in my wishlist.
In the crisis time, the players are also concerned about their families and are in touch with them through video calls. The veteran from Kerala said,
My father is above 60 and kids are below seven. I have strictly instructed them not to move out of the house.
For star forward Mandeep Singh, it is the time to improve English and he is taking it very seriously along with others. He said,
Wife of Chris Ciriello (team’s analytical coach) takes English classes once in a week. We are doing assignments which include reading good English books. I have started reading one book on Olympics.
Indian women team’s experienced goal-keeper Savita gets daily do’s and don’ts list from her mother who is in Sirsa, Haryana though her family is assured of her safety and health at SAI centre. She said,
We are very safe here as the campus is very neat and clean. We don’t want to go out and don’t want to get bored either, so working on innovative recreation games based on team bonding. We change roommates regularly to have better understanding between each and every players.
Indian women team also joined the nation to show gratitude towards the health warriors in the fight against Coronavirus by clapping together. The video went viral on social media. She added,
It was instinctive. We know how difficult the times are. We wanted to show the solidarity with the nation and also thank those who are on duty against this fight.
Another player Navneet Kaur said they are following the guidelines regarding social-distancing and maintaining hygiene. “We are maintaining distance and use hand wash and sanitisers. We sanitize the gym also before exercise,” she said. “Normally we used to go out for shopping and movie. Last week we had time so we watched many latest bollywood movues released together in the meeting room which include ‘Panipat’, ‘Pyar ka Panchnama’ and ‘War’,” she said.