Call it the sad state of affairs or the lack of apathy, athletes in India are yet to be treated in the right manner or rather like the cricketers. Often criticized for not performing at the highest level, they are often left fending for themselves for equipment and other facilities. The lack of facilities and infrastructure followed by the blame game between the Associations and the government often buries the issue.

On Saturday, at the Sports Authority of India centre in Bengaluru, a dismal sight was witnessed when members of the junior hockey team were using a broken plastic water tank for an ice bath, reported the Times of India.

“It is a pathetic sight to see 6-8 players climb into a broken tank kept outside the team hostel for an ice bath after a training session,” said one of the athletes who witnessed the incident.

An ice bath therapy is required after an athlete undergoes an intense workout session. It helps the body recover faster.

“The proper way for an ice bath is to have small tubs in doors with one or two players getting into it for 10-15 minutes. It’s not only unhygienic to have so many people inside one tub, it also reduces the effect of an ice bath,” said a sports medicine expert said. “I’m not surprised to hear about this as we don’t do much for our players.”

With SAI centres themselves not having the required facilities, one can only feel for the athletes who want to win laurels for the country. “There are a lot of issues which the campers face and this is one of them. Whenever the team travels abroad we see how the foreigners train. It’s a much better facility, a 10x10ft tank kept indoors, into which the players enter,” a source told Times of India.

According to SAI officials, the camp for the national junior hockey team began last month. When quizzed about the broken tank, they said that the same plastic tank was used by the senior team during its camps.

Olympic gold medalist Abhinav Bindra though took to Twitter to let the world know that soon he would be distributing Cryotherapy chambers, or so we hope.

Recently, the Government acknowledged that the performance by Indian athletes was below par and poor governance in sports, lack of professionalism and the absence of strong domestic competition were the key reasons for it.

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