The Indian hockey teams are currently training at the SAI centre in Bengaluru.

With two Indian women hockey players being recognized with the national awards this year, chief coach Sjoerd Marijne is brimming with pride. While Rani Rampal becomes the first Indian women hockey player to be honoured with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, India’s highest sporting honour, former defender Deepika will receive the Arjuna Award this year.

“I am happy for Rani and Deepika. I am also happy for the team because only one player can get the award but we all know it’s a team achievement and I am very pleased to see that women’s hockey is getting this recognition for their efforts and incredibly hard work,” stated Sjoerd Marijne.

Having completed the mandatory 14-day quarantine period, the Indian coach said the core group is now doing very basic activities. He remarked, “It has been good to start again with everyone slowly coming out of the quarantine and I am relieved everyone is healthy and have taken care of themselves during this period.”

“For me personally, it feels nice to do what I love the most. That gives me the energy,” added Sjoerd Marijne, who was also in 14-day quarantine after returning from the Netherlands earlier this month following a six-week break from the national coaching camp.

Elaborating on the core group’s daily routine, he said, “We are going about these sports activities keeping in mind the SOP provided by SAI and Hockey India. I am just glad the team is being able to run on the pitch again after almost 5 months and start with very basic skills.”

Indian men’s hockey team is also training in Bengaluru and few players, who were tested positive for coronavirus, have now fully recovered. Manpreet Singh, Surender Kumar, Jaskaran Singh and Varun Kumar had tested COVID positive upon their arrival at the SAI’s National Centre of Excellence.