Even as the Coronavirus pandemic continues to effect all walks of life and bring the world to a standstill, SV Sunil and the rest of the members of the Indian hockey team continue to train at the SAI South Centre in Bengaluru. Away from friends and family, Sunil missed the birthday of his daughter Shanvita, who celebrated her first birthday on Tuesday, and had to remain content wishing her via FaceTime. Also Read - Russia Still a Developing Country in Hockey: Captain Denis Shchipachev
“I would have loved to be with my daughter today but circumstances are beyond our control. I couldn’t risk my family coming over either. As athletes, we are always prepared to make such sacrifices,” Times of India quotes Sunil as saying. Also Read - Injury-Free Rupinder Gears Up for Olympic Qualifiers
Members of the men’s and women’s hockey team – players, staff members and others have been in the facility and haven’t seen their families in long. With no immediate solution appearing, most of the players have resorted to reading, watching movies or taking up some or the other web series. The FIH Pro League has been put on hold, among almost every other sports tournament across the globe to contain the spread of COVID-19. Also Read - We Will be Watching Other Olympic Qualifiers Together as a Team Activity: SV Sunil
Among them, Graham Reid, coach of the men’s team, says everyone is sticking to the usual route of a practice camp and awaiting further orders from the government if and when the coast clears.
“At the moment, things are going along as they normally would in a camp. We are in the third week of our four-week camp. We’ve been preparing as though we are going to Germany and England (for the FIH Pro League). We are keeping track of every government decision that is being made. That said, as far as we’re concerned, we are preparing for the Olympics,” he said.
Reid recalled an incident from the year 1992, when he was a Barcelona Olympian and had realised how sports toughens up individuals.
“I remember before I headed off for the Olympics in 1992, my then girlfriend and now wife Julia telling me I was very selfish. I hadn’t thought about it earlier. I actually realized as athletes we are selfish, in the sense, we are so focused on training and performance that we learn to compartmentalize our lives. In that sense, we are seasoned early,” he said.