Experienced India forward says Hockey India is making great efforts to promote the safe return to the sport.
Experienced Indian Men’s Hockey Team forward Ramandeep Singh expressed excitement about hockey activities resuming across India and he encouraged young players to ensure they follow all the norms and SOPs provided by the National Federation. “It is great to see activities resume at the local level after so many months. Many young players send me messages sharing their excitement and also ask me about the things they need to keep in mind when they restart playing hockey after so long. The first and foremost thing everyone must ensure is that they are following the SOPs provided by Hockey India and State Governments,” expressed Ramandeep who is part of the ongoing National Coaching Camp in SAI, Bengaluru.
The forward also expressed excitement about resumption of tournaments at the local level. “I heard of a local-level tournament that happened in Jammu & Kashmir recently which was more of a celebration of returning to the sport and we have a popular annual local tournament happening in Punjab. It is great that Hockey India is encouraging everyone to make a safe return to the sport. I think this is a good sign and I would urge players to be safe and be responsible,” he added.
Ramandeep also spoke about his compatriots who have recovered from Covid-19 and have joined the rest of the group, returning to normal activities. “I think we are very fortunate that we have great support from Hockey India and SAI during these challenging times. They ensured we have the best facilities here. The players who had tested Covid positive have resumed activities and it’s good to have them back. We are doing very basic activities now without stressing ourselves too much but starting October, our intensity will increase and I am confident we can hit max fitness soon,” Ramandeep said.
The striker who was part of the Indian Team during the FIH Hockey Pro League said he isn’t too worried about not having international competitions this year. “I don’t think I am too worried about not playing international matches this year. It is important we first return to our old form and fitness and once we reach that level, we can play internal matches. We are a group of 33 players who are all extremely competitive and our assessment will be based on how we are doing in the National Camp. This automatically will motivate each one to bring out our best,” Ramandeep stated.