The men and women’s core probable group have been given a four-week break amid Covid-19 pandemic.

Hockey India on Friday announced that the Indian men and women’s hockey team who were based at SAI Centre, Bengaluru will be given a month-long break. While the women’s team were in SAI since February for the national coaching camp, the men’s team arrived in Bengaluru in the first week of March after the notable performance in the FIH Hockey Pro League earlier this year.

It has been decided that they will be recalled on 19 July 2020 to resume sports activities as part of their preparations for the Tokyo Olympic Games. Having spent the nationwide lockdown in a very safe and secure environment at the SAI Centre in Bengaluru, the athletes had begun basic sports activities since 10 June 2020.

However, after the basis consultation with the chief coaches of both teams Graham Reid and Sjoerd Marijne, it was unanimously decided that the players be allowed to take a break of four weeks.

Expressing the importance of returning fresh mentally and physically to the field, the President of Hockey India Mohd. Mushtaque Ahmad, said, “Having consulted with the Chief Coaches of both the teams, we have decided that it was important to give the players a much-needed break. These have been challenging times for everyone and I must credit the teams’ coaching staff who ensured the players physical and mental well-being during the nationwide lockdown when hockey training was suspended.”

Ahmad further added that during this break, the players have been advised to follow all the guidelines provided by the government. He remarked, “The players have been specifically briefed that they need to adhere to government guidelines during this break and continue to follow social distancing. We are very proud of how our players have handled this situation over the last 3-4 months and have stayed strong as a unit.”

“It is important they continue to act responsibly during this break. We believe this time off will help players return to Bangalore feeling fresh mentally and physically in order to resume preparations for the Olympic Games,” Ahmad concluded.