Bengaluru: Mumtaz Khan, talented young forward in the Indian junior women’s hockey tea, is ecstatic to be back on the field at the ongoing national camp after nearly six months amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The core probable group arrived at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) facility on October 5 and underwent a two-week mandatory quarantine period before commencing activities this week.
“It was a new and challenging experience to be in quarantine for two weeks. It reminded me of my injury days when I had to limit my movement and was advised rest. I am happy and kind of relieved that we are finally back on the field,” stated Mumtaz, who hails from Lucknow, said.
The youngster also feels the regime the players were asked to follow when they were on a break helped them maintain their fitness.
“When players come into Hockey India’s national program, a lot of awareness is created about fitness and diet. We are always told what to do when we are on a break, how to take care of ourselves, our weight etc. when there is no camp. We are usually given a particular regime to follow and when we were on a break, we were doing basic workouts at home during the lockdowns and once lockdowns ended, we would do basic running etc to work on our aerobic fitness,” she said.
Mumtaz also expressed gratitude towards her senior compatriots who egged them on via video calls during their quarantine period. “The senior women’s team who are also here would often make video calls to keep us encouraged and they would tell us about their experience in quarantine and how we can keep ourselves occupied. We are thankful to Hockey India and SAI for commencing our national camp again and providing such a safe environment to train,” she said.
The junior core probable’s group will be working on hitting their old form and prepare for the Asia Cup which will be a qualifying event for the World Cup.
“I feel we were in very good rhythm before the pandemic began. We had won important matches against good teams. Now we need to work on getting back to that same rhythm,” she said.