At a time when the world needs to come together, India’s hockey eves are doing just that under lockdown in Bengaluru’s SAI campus.
As the reality of the national lockdown hits, the Indian hockey women’s team, currently hunkered down in the Sports Authority of India campus in Bengaluru, are using the time to get to know each other better.
The Rani Rampal-led India women’s hockey team were hard at work when the national lockdown barred them inside the facility until April 14.
This unplanned extension of their stay has also fostered a renewed sense of camaraderie among the team members, who find themselves at camps like this almost 300 days a year.
“We have grown close to each other and this is our family when we are away from home,” Rani Rampal told the Hindustan Times.
The girls get together for meals and spirits are generally high at the camp, and the healthy support system existing between the women comes through when needed.
“We have each other in case we face any issues and we help each other out in difficult times,” Rani Rampal explained.
Within the safety and self-sufficiency of the SAI campus, the Indian eves have managed to carry on their fitness regimes unabated, while outside, the nation deals with the pandemic.
The girls perform daily body-weight exercises while maintaining a record of their repetitions and timings, which are then gone over by Wayne Lombard, the team’s scientific advisor.
Most of the exercises are carried out inside the rooms or within hostel premises, where the girls are also able to consult with their coaches Sjoerd Marijne and Janneke Schopmann.
"With the new dates for the Olympics announced, we have a lot to look forward to and the team is motivated to improve," she said.
"In the past two years, we have grown as a team and have been performing well against some of the top teams in the world," Rani Rampal pointed out. "In the year to come, we will continue to focus on becoming a better side and use this time to enhance our potential."