Graham Reid, the Indian men’s hockey team coach believes that the team is in a better position with regards to preparations for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. The coach said that while the COVID-19 pandemic has put a blanket on training and preparation for other nations, the Indian team is practising under strict precautionary measures.
Reid also heaped praise on the Sports Authority of India (Sports India) for their quick response and measures. “The authorities were quick to take action and isolate the SAI Centre. We are isolated but we can carry out our normal schedule. Things are very smooth. We can’t control the virus but we can control our environment,” Reid said to the media in from SAI South Centre in Bengaluru.
Although the virus has almost brought the world to a standstill, the Indian team has been training under a very restricted and controlled environment. “Things are changing on a daily basis but one of the great things is our ability to continue training which other countries don’t have. Australian players are based with their families and train in Perth. Argentines have a centralised program but I don’t think they are training at the moment whereas, our entire group is together.”
It should be noted that currently, 32 players are in the camp secluded away from everyone. These players play competitive hockey matches against each other. They are playing internal games very much like international matches. With the help of the head coach, the players are infusing different styles of play every day.
On asked about the fate of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Reid said, “I have no comment to make whether Olympics should be postponed or not, it is up to the IOC and Tokyo Games organisers. But the Olympics is something special, every athlete dreams to be a part of the event someday.”
In circumstances and situations when the world faces strife it is important to maintain a positive mental attitude. The national team players gel well in each other’s company and they certainly have the motivation to make the country proud in hockey at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.