Hockey India (HI) on Friday announced that the Indian men’s and women’s teams based at Bengaluru will get a month-long break ahead of the season resumption.

Notably, the women’s core probables group was in the Sports Authority of India’s centre in Bengaluru since February for the national coaching camp. The Men’s core probables group also arrived in the centre in March on the back of impressive performances against top-rated teams like Australia, Belgium and the Netherlands.

“It has been decided that the men and women core probable athletes will be recalled on July 19 to resume sports activities as part of their preparations for the Tokyo Olympic Games,” the Hockey India said in a statement.

Highlighting the importance of returning back to the field fresh mentally and physically, Mohd Mushtaque Ahmad, President Hockey India said, “Having consulted with the Chief Coaches of both the teams, Hockey India decided that it was important to give the players a much-needed break. These have been challenging times for everyone and I must credit the teams’ Coaching Staff who ensured the players physical and mental well-being during the nationwide lockdown when hockey training was suspended.”

Ahmad further added that during the break, the players have been advised to follow all the guidelines provided by the government to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

“The players have been specifically briefed that they need to adhere to government guidelines during this break and continue to follow social distancing. We are very proud of how our players have handled this situation over the last 3-4 months and have stayed strong as a unit. It is important they continue to act responsibly during this break. We believe this time off will help players return to Bangalore feeling fresh mentally and physically in order to resume preparations for the Olympic Games,” Ahmad added.