Kiren Rijiju, the Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, on Tuesday, exuded confidence and said he is hopeful that both Men’s and Women’s Hockey team will shine in Tokyo Olympics next year. The 2020 Tokyo Olympics was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic earlier this year. The mega event will now be held from July 23 to August 8, 2021. And the Paralympics will take place from August 24 to September 5, 2021.

Rijiju said the players are really working hard and are provided with the top facilities. “I’m saying it with full confidence and hopeful that both Men’s and Women’s Hockey team will do well in Tokyo Olympics. Our Boys and Girls are really working very hard. We are providing them with top facilities and best support systems,” Rijiju tweeted.

Meanwhile, about 600-650 young players between the age group of 15-21 years have begun hockey activities and have been regularly attending the district-level camps in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

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The players are focusing on basic drills and are slowly and steadily finding their feet back in the game after nearly six months of being out of action due to the COVID-19 pandemic that led to a series of nationwide lockdowns.

On Monday, the sports minister virtually inaugurated Sports Authority of India’s (SAI) new Regional Centre in Zirakpur, Punjab which will now act as one of the main SAI centres for the northern belt of India. During the event, the sports minister congratulated the coaches and athletes who would be training at the new centre and said that once the COVID -19 situation is better he will personally visit the centre.

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