As the Coronavirus cases have now crossed the mark of 4 lakhs in India, it has now become essential to stay home and practice social distancing. Indian Hockey players of both men and women were stuck at the SAI South center due to the Covid-19 and lockdown situation, that took place in March. As there was a ban on interstate travel and public transport both the team of men and women hockey players had to stay in the Sports Authority of India (SAI) center at Bengaluru.
The government of India made an announcement recently to ease some restrictions and allow people for essential travel in June. Keeping all the norms and guidelines in mind, it was decided to send the players to their respective hometowns on 17th June. The players were scheduled to leave in batches starting from 19th June.
Twenty-five players of the women team have been living in the camp since 16th February and men team had reported on 2nd March. A part of the women’s team that consisted of seven players was also asked to return after the Kempe Gowda International was canceled. However, now looking at the ease of restrictions, it has been decided to send all 55 players home. Due to the constant increase in the number of cases, SAI and Indian Hockey had decided to wait before giving the final permission to the players for leaving.
The players were not able to follow their training regimes or practice sessions due to the social distancing guidelines and their movements were also restricted. However, the activities in the camp were resumed after 10th June maintaining all the guidelines. The authorities have said that these players have a four-week break to go home and spend time with their loved ones. As a lot of International Hockey Tournaments have been canceled or postponed, the decision was finally made to send the players back home.
The players who were stuck in the camp praised SAI for their safety precautions and other arrangements to ensure the security of their players. However, restricted movement and activity made it difficult for the players to stay on the camp as they also wanted to go to their families and be with them during these difficult times.