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Guwahati: Hockey India, the governing body for both men and women’s hockey in India, will provide immediate financial help to 61 unemployed players, including 34 women amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This announcement was made by the Hockey India executive board on Tuesday and aimed at helping the athletes return to sporting activities.

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Athletes not holding employment are facing difficulties due to the pandemic, impacting them adversely, and Hockey India seems to have understood that. “The ongoing battle with the Covid-19 pandemic has had an adverse impact on athletes who don’t have jobs, for them to be able to continue sporting activities while their families face financial constraints will be difficult,” Hockey India officiating president Gyanendro Ningombam was quoted as saying in a media release.

Under the initiative, 61 athletes from across the senior, junior men and women core, including 30 junior women, 26 junior men, four senior women, and one senior men’s team core will receive a sum of Rs 10,000 from Hockey India.

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“Hockey India was keen to find a way to give them some immediate relief and has decided to help these players with Rs 10,000 each as financial assistance in these difficult times, which would mean they would not add any additional burden on their families as they look to resume sports activities in the near future,” Ningombam confirmed in the media release.

Ningombam was hopeful that the assistance provided by the board would help the players to resume the sporting activities soon, and he also felt that this help would give the athletes that extra boost in confidence to focus their energies on excelling for the country.

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