Puducherry/Tamil Nadu [India], November 4 (ANI): In accordance with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) guidelines issued in September, hockey players in Puducherry, as well as Tamil Nadu, have resumed sports activities keeping in mind the detailed SOP and precautionary guidelines provided by Hockey India against COVID-19.
In Tamil Nadu, about 65 players have returned to the field and have resumed limited sports activities amid restrictions imposed due to fight against coronavirus.
These players are above 18 years and are training for state championships which will be a trial for the Hockey India National Championships.
"We have been cautious in our approach to begin activities in Tamil Nadu and have resumed only limited training for a small group of players across different centres. Since all schools and colleges are closed only SDAT headquarters playfields in the districts are open," said Sekar J Manoharan, President of Hockey Unit of Tamil Nadu, in an official statement.
"Due to the unavailability of transportation, not all players are able to start activities to prepare for domestic events. However, 65 players resuming is still a good start and we will encourage players to get out and play and tell them the importance of following all protocols," he added.
Meanwhile, in Puducherry, about 50 players from sub-junior, junior and senior categories have been able to resume activities in three different centres.
Here, Le Puducherry Hockey - a member unit of Hockey India is also planning to conduct COVID-19 awareness as well as fitness and nutrition programme for players who are resuming hockey activities.
"It has been a slow and steady process into getting young players to return to the sport. For now, we have about 50 players training in three different centres and it was immensely helpful that Hockey India had set the parameters for the resumption of activities through their SOPs as early as April-May this year," said DM Rajasekaran, President of Le Puducherry Hockey.
"So we have a clear idea on what we needed to do when permissions come through to resume sports activities. Hopefully, with things getting better we will be able to motivate more players to come and play," he added.
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. (ANI)