COVID-19: Belgium men’s hockey team take calls to help public

Due to restricted outdoor movement in Belgium, the men's hockey team is acting as a bridge between isolated people and on-field volunteers.

The Belgian national hockey team is doing its bit to give back to the community during the coronavirus pandemic.   -  Instagram/ Emmanuel Stockbroex

The coronavirus pandemic has affected day-to-day life around the globe leading to more than 85,000 deaths and affecting more than 1.4 million people. 

Sports competitions remain suspended while the International Olympic Committee announced the big decision to postpone the Tokyo Olympics to 2021. Athletes across the world have come forward in various ways to help their communities and men’s hockey’s World and European champion Belgium has stepped to the fore collectively to help those in need.

As part of a citizen-initiative program covid-solidarity.org, the Red Lions take calls from people who are in isolation and the elderly who cannot go out to shop for groceries.

“We are all available for the people in need where we take calls and fill out a form with their requirements and send it through,” defender Emmanuel Stockbroex told Sportstar on Thursday.

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Due to restricted outdoor movement in Belgium, the team is acting as a bridge between isolated people and on-field volunteers.

Citizens can call the helpline where required items are noted down on a customised shopping list and the printout is put outside in a visible area of the house which is then picked up by other volunteers.

“Its a way for us to keep contact with each other and also give back to the community,” Stockbroekx said.

Speaking about the severity of the lockdown in Belgium, which recorded over 23,000 positive cases leading to more than 2,200 deaths, the 26-year-old said: “Here in Antwerp, we can go biking, running or exercise outside. The police drive around and make sure we go back home. It's not a problem as long as you keep moving, but it is very strict,” he said.

Belgium is currently the No. 1 team in the men’s rankings and is on top of the FIH Pro League Hockey 2020 standings with 16 points from 6 matches.

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