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Too many problems during training camp

Shocking revelations have emerged out of the reports submitted by the manager, coaches and team physiotherapist who accompanied the hockey squad to the Azlan Shah Cup at Ipoh (Malaysia), where India finished a poor sixth. Saurabh Duggal reports. What the reports state

india Updated: May 31, 2011 01:22 IST
Saurabh Duggal

Shocking revelations have emerged out of the reports submitted by the manager, coaches and team physiotherapist who accompanied the hockey squad to the Azlan Shah Cup at Ipoh (Malaysia), where India finished a poor sixth.

Prior to the team's departure for last month's prestigious tournament, the players were not provided with energy and nutritional supplements during the national camp, the gym was set up by players and coaches, who carried truckloads of weights for training from the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium to the National Stadium, and the team had no access to swimming pool facilities at the hotel they were staying in during the duration of the camp.

In his post-tournament report, team physiotherapist, Shrikant Iyengar, writes to Hockey India, "Dr Pradip Dutta along with 15 boys carried a truck-full of equipment (from Nehru Stadium to National Stadium) and set up the gymnasium with the help of the coaching staff. The initial 10 days of weight training were lost due to the non-availability of weights. The swimming pool at the Samrat Hotel was under repair and was not functional till the conclusion of the camp.

"Energy and nutritional supplements must be supplied throughout the period of the training camps and not merely during the tournaments. It is during the camp that the players are exposed to more rigorous activities, as compared to the tournaments and require the energy boosters for performance and absolute recovery," Iyengar writes in his report.

On the lousy medical facilities as the camp, he writes, "In Delhi, many such issues were encountered. Most of them were solved but with a lot of inconveniences ranging from the diagnostic procedures like X-ray, MRI, etc, to the (un)availability of experts for various ailments."

He also blamed the long gap between the conclusion of the 2010 Asian Games and the start of the national camp for the debacle.

"There should not be long gaps between two camps. As it was witnessed recently, after the conclusion of the Asian Games in November last year, the next camp began on March 15.

"This gap left many players unfit with reduced strength, increased fat levels and reduction of general fitness levels to play top-level hockey. Also a few players carried injuries to the camp."

What the reports state