The 30-year-old goalkeeper revealed her happiness to resume sporting activities following a break for the pandemic.

Having completed their 14-day self-isolation period, Indian senior hockey teams on Wednesday resumed sporting activities at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) National Centre of Excellence in Bengaluru.

Players seemed to be in a jovial mood as they stepped outdoors to resume sporting activities. The Indian women’s hockey team’s experienced Goalkeeper Savita Punia was one of the players who was visibly happy at the occasion.

She said, “It is a good moment for all of us because we are finally able to resume sports activities, and do outdoor running as well. In our rooms, we were only able to do bodyweight exercises and use resistance bands. So it is a positive sign that we are able to get back to some sort of outdoor activities following all the SAI SOPs in a very secure environment here at SAI. It was more about staying fit and maintaining your well-being when we were in our rooms, but the feel-good factor is back now.”

“When you are a professional athlete, it gets really hectic sometimes because you are travelling every other day, and playing often. As such you don’t really get the chance to introspect at length, but these few months and especially the past 14 days, I’ve had the chance to look back on a lot of things and understand myself better.”

Having had the opportunity to be all by themselves for a period of 14 days, Savita Punia said it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for all of them to self-evaluate and take out time for themselves.

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“What I’ve realized is that this is the only time I might get in my life where I can analyse a lot of things – personal and professional – and work towards bettering them. It may be the choices I’ve made at certain stages or something that I can add to my personality on and off the field to make it better. It might vary for different people, but I totally believe that it has been one of the most important phases in my life as I’ve had to be very strong mentally as well,” said Savita Punia, who hails from Sirsa, Haryana.

“I think it is just remarkable the kind of work that SAI and Hockey India have done to provide us with a safe environment here and provided us with all the necessary SOPs for the resumption of sports activities. What it means is that we were really confident and excited to step outside of our rooms, and resume the sports activities. Credit also goes to our team management for providing us with a schedule that ensured we stayed fit during these months, and can now get our rhythm back.”

She also shared insights on her team’s new routine after the quarantine period. “We have to get back to full fitness so we will be including outdoor running, high-intensity workouts and a bit of stick-work to our schedule. We started today with an outdoor exercise session maintaining social distancing, and will be resuming sports activities on the hockey pitch to get our rhythm back while also following safety protocols as stated in the SOPs,” she concluded.