Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], October 28 (ANI): In accordance with the Ministry of Home Affairs' (MHA) recent guidelines, hockey players in Uttar Pradesh have resumed sports activities keeping in mind the detailed SOP and guidelines provided by Hockey India.
The detailed SOPs and guidelines were shared with all the State Member Units as early as in April 2020 with the intent to be well prepared and ready for systematic rollout.
In Uttar Pradesh, the state which is home to several International hockey stars both past and present, saw over 250 aspiring players between the age group of 15-21 years have resumed limited sports activities.
The players are focusing on basic drills and are slowly and steadily finding their feet back in the game after nearly six months of being out of action due to the COVID-19 pandemic that led to a series of nationwide lockdowns.
The players and the Coaches of the State Member Unit, who are currently building towards their next domestic tournament - a State-level Championship, are following all the necessary protocols provided to them by Hockey India.
The State Member Units were provided a general idea about the key aspects to keep in mind while resuming sports activities during an interactive session with Chief Coaches of the national teams and experienced national players; PR Sreejesh and Savita in September.
The Chief Coaches and players spoke about their first-hand experience of how the National Camp Coaches and players are following the set protocol at the Sports Authority of India campus in Bengaluru since restarting sports activities on August 19, 2020.
"It is good to see players return to the pitch after nearly six months. Staying away from the pitch for a long time is difficult for any sportsperson and ever since the MHA guidelines permitted resumption of sporting activities, we are encouraging players to resume basic activities. The SOP and guidelines provided to us by Hockey India is very detailed and easy to understand for Coaches and players too. We have ensured this has been implemented across all major districts where hockey camps have resumed," said Dr RP Singh, General Secretary, Uttar Pradesh Hockey in a Hockey India press release.
He further stated that Hockey India's webinar featuring National Teams Chief Coaches and players about restarting activities was very useful.
"After attending the interactive session with the Chief Coaches and players of the national teams last month, we got the much-needed confidence to encourage our players to start limited sports activities. We have to ensure that we don't push our players too hard. They have to move forward steadily," Singh said.
Speaking on the resumption of the sports activities in the state of Uttar Pradesh, Mr Rakesh Katyal, President Uttar Pradesh Hockey said, "We are extremely happy that sports activities have resumed in our state. We have been prepared for the restart of the sports activities for many months and therefore we are delighted that the players from UP have got a chance to make their way back to the field."
"We hope that the players get back to their full form in time so that we can host the State Championships. We are very grateful to Hockey India for thinking ahead and putting in the procedures in place very early on so that the players could get back on the field without any hindrances," he added. (ANI)