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Sad plight of hockey players at the national camp due to lack of proper facilities

Ice baths have been arranged for in a broken plastic tank.


The national camp for junior hockey players started last month
The national camp for junior hockey players started last month

What’s the story?

While people have found it very easy to sit in the comfort of their chairs and criticize the sportspersons in the country for not having performed to their expectations, it seems that not many are aware of the meager facilities that provided to them, especially at high profile national camps.

The context

This isn’t a new phenomenon if one looks at the general conditions of the infrastructure provided to certain sportspersons, but this particular instance sheds light upon how the national camp at the Sports Authority of India, Bengaluru is having its hockey players use a broken plastic water tank for their ice baths, according to a TOI report.

The camp for the national junior hockey team has been going on since last month.

The heart of the matter

The plight of the hockey players at the camp is a sad one. As narrated by a witness, 6 to 8 players are having to climb into the broken tank placed outside the hostel for an ice bath.

An ice bath is a training regimen that follows a period of intense exercise requiring the athlete to immerse a substantial part of their body in ice or ice water for a limited amount of time. This leads to reduced muscle soreness and faster recovery.

As per protocol, the method for an ice bath is to place smaller tubs in a sheltered space and not out in the open, with one or two people using it for 10 to 15 minutes each. According to a sports medicine expert, it is not only unhygienic for so many people to be using a tub at the same time, but also nullifies the effect of the very ice bath.

SAI officials have attempted to explain it by saying that the senior hockey players had to use the same tank during their camp.

What’s next?

While there have been talks of SAI installing an indoor ice-bath facility for the players at the center in Bengaluru, the players are going to have to depend on using the ice tank until the procedure for installing one is complete. It seems to still be in the planning process.

Author’s take

Besides expecting unprecedented performances from the athletes in the country, the expectations for their proper treatment and facility also need to be set. These players work hard to win accolades for their country, and the required facilities are not only something that they deserve but also something that is imperative for them to be able to maximize their potential.

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