Team sport lessons should be applied to beat COVID-19: Brasa

By Mona Parthsarathi

New Delhi, Apr 7 () The values learnt in team sports like striving together for a common goal and protecting the vulnerable can be applied to beat dreaded coronavirus pandemic, says country's former Spanish hockey coach Jose Brasa, who still carries India in his heart.

Brasa left India a decade back but he is concerned for the country in this health crisis, which has brought the world to its knees.

"Hockey and team sports teach us very important values that become crucial in situations like this pandemic. These values are, teamwork, solidarity, fighting for a common goal," Brasa told -Bhasha in an interview from Belgium. Advertisement

"Hockey also teaches us that we must help each other because the most vulnerable part of the team is the weakest link in the chain. The most important thing is to beat this virus by playing as a team.

"You have to set common goals because it is easier to meet them and more motivating and work hard to achieve them. India is in my heart and I hope and wish that my lovely India beats the Corona soon without many deaths," Brasa, who coached India's men's hockey team till the 2010 Asian games, said.

With Spain reporting the lowest number of new coronavirus cases in more than two weeks, Brasa expressed hope that situation will be under control soon.

The most affected country after Italy, Spain had new 4273 infections with the standing at 1,35,032 on Monday. The death toll rose by 637 to 13,055 in the past 24 hours, a smaller gain than Sunday's 674 and the lowest number of daily fatalities since March 24.

"It seems that we have reached the highest peak of the infected curve and we are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel," Brasa, stuck in Belgium due to lockdown, said. "We are happy because complying strictly with the government's rules is producing positive results now. In Spain for about 10 days, the confinement is total and is being very strictly enforced. This virus can only be beaten by staying home.Advertisement

"My family is still in Pozuelo, a small town on the outskirts of Madrid. I go to Madrid often, or sometimes my family visits me in Liege, we see each other every two weeks or so. The last time I was in Madrid was 12 March. But I am in constant touch with my family," he added.

He said that there was no panic in either Spain or Belgium but there is a lot of concern.

"In Belgium there are few infections and the situation is one of calm and prevention. Everyone respects the rules given by the government, and this is the reason why the virus is not spreading in Belgium. In Spain also people have realized that they have to strictly follow the 'stay home' rule," said Brasa.Advertisement

He said that people are angry with local administration in Madrid because of poor public health system.

"The worst part of the pandemic is in Madrid and there is a lot of anger for local administration there. If Spain today had a strong public health system, as we had years ago, we would not have problems with the pandemic today," he said.

Asked about his routine during the lockdown, he said that the coach became a student now and he is learning few new things.Advertisement

"I watch videos of the games played, select moves to send to the players, take courses on the Internet. I have already completed a course to improve the graphics in the video analysis programs. I also study sports nutrition." MJ ATAT

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