Bengaluru: With the 14-day quarantine period for the Indian hockey teams coming to an end on Tuesday, Indian men's hockey team's forward SV Sunil spoke about his experience of living in isolation since returning to SAI's National Centre of Excellence in Bengaluru. The 31-year-old said it was important for everyone to stay strong mentally to get through the challenge of staying in isolation for a lengthy period.
"I think what we all realized from these past two weeks was the fact that we all needed to be really strong mentally, and to make sure that we were always in touch with our friends, family and teammates," said Sunil.
Having gained first-hand experience, the Indian Forward said he has huge respect for people who have spent time in quarantine centres or home isolation during the pandemic. "Sometimes you don't realize how much effort goes into something, but after having lived in isolation, I can relate to what everyone who has lived in quarantine centres or home isolation has gone through. It is a great challenge of mental strength and really tests your patience, so I have tremendous respect for people who have managed to get through such phases during the pandemic," said the 2014 Asian Games Gold Medallist.
The veteran Forward also spoke about how the support staff has been able to keep all the players occupied. "It was important for us to stay busy, because you can't always be on the television or play games on the phone to get through the day. So our Chief Coach and members of support staff decided to make sure we were doing something or the other. We were asked to do some research on the greatest Olympians ever, and then present to the team on our video calls. It was a nice activity as we learned a fair bit from all the players choosing various legends and talking in detail," expressed Sunil.
"We have also been able to maintain our fitness levels by following the indoor-fitness schedule that we've been given. Personally, I have also enjoyed taking part in our activations which include stretching and foam rolling. So we have been having one hour sessions in the morning over video call where all the players join in, and follow what our Scientific Advisor and Physio asks us to do. It has been a different experience to do it over video call for sure," he added.
Talking about the importance of following the protocols, Sunil said that SAI and Hockey India had ensured all safety measures were in place and he is now looking forward to resumption of sports activities. "It was so good to see how we got our food served, which was through contact-less delivery at our doorstep. All of us felt really safe, and I am really happy that we can resume sports activities from Wednesday onwards. It is good for us that we have been able to maintain our fitness through indoor body-weight exercises, but it will be good to start outdoor running as well in a very safe environment," signed off Sunil.