With final preparations underway for the mega event Tokyo Olympic Games 2020, Hockey India has announced the final list of players with four players from the Mumbai Division of Central Railway selected to represent the Indian Women’s Hockey Team in Tokyo Olympics.
All four players work in the ‘Ticket Checking Cadre’ of Mumbai Division of Central Railway, Ms. Monika Malik (Head TC), Ms. Vandana Kataria (Head TC), Ms. Shushila Chanu Pukhrambam (Head TC), and stand-in Goalkeeper Ms. Rajini Etimarpu (Head TC) have made their way in the Indian Olympic Women’s Hockey Team. The players have been playing and practicing for Central Railway for the last couple of years under the mentorship of Mrs. Helen Mary (Arjuna Awardee) and Mrs. Sarita Grover, both are National Hockey Players and work for Central Railways.
“It is a proud moment for Central Railway, Mumbai Division that Ms. Vandana Katariya, Ms. Sushila Chanu & Ms. Monika and Ms. E Rajni as standby goalkeeper for their selection to Indian Women’s Hockey Team for participation in Tokyo 2020 Olympics,” read one of the tweets of Central Railway twitter handle.
13 players out of 16 players are from Railways
Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal took to his official Twitter handle to congratulate the players who got selected in the hockey team that would represent India in the Olympics. The Union Minister also informed that 13 of the 16 selected players are from the Indian Railways.
While congratulating the women’s hockey team, Piyush Goyal posted a picture of the selected team. The railway minister said that the team has a “good mix of experience and youth”.
The 16-member squad strikes the perfect balance between continuity from the Rio Olympics 2016 and adopting a fresh approach for Tokyo Olympics 2020. Eight members are from the experienced lot, while eight new players have been given the chance to make their Olympic debut for Team India.
The final squad includes eight stalwarts in Rani, Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam, Savita, Deep Grace Ekka, Monika, Nikki Pradhan, Navjot Kaur, and Vandana Katariya. All these members have had the experience of representing India at the historic appearance of the Indian women’s team at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
The other eight members include Olympic debutants drag-flicker Gurjit Kaur, Sharmila Devi, Udita, Nisha, Neha, Navneet Kaur, Lalremsiami – who is the first player hailing from the state of Mizoram in the team and Salima Tete – who represented the Indian team at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games at Buenos Aires and clinched a silver medal.
COMPLETE LIST OF SELECTED PLAYERS:
2) DEEP GRACE EKKA
3) NIKKI PRADHAN
4) GURJIT KAUR
8) SUSHILA CHANU PUKHRAMBAM
10) NAVJOT KAUR
11) SALIMA TETE
13) NAVNEET KAUR
15) VANDANA KATARIYA
16) SHARMILA DEVI
Star alumnus of SAIL Hockey Academy Birendra Lakra in Olympic Hockey team
SAIL ( Steel Authority of India) Hockey Academy’s star alumnus Birendra Lakra has been selected in the 16-member Men’s Indian Hockey team for Tokyo Olympics.
Birendra has played a total of 197 matches for the national team, including the 2012 London Olympics. The former employee of Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP), Birendra started learning Hockey from a young age at Biju Patnaik Hockey Stadium as a day scholar under the mentorship of Mr. Peter Tirkey, who himself is a Junior international. In 2004, Birendra joined SAIL Hockey Academy (SHA) and continued training till 2010. At SHA, he was also trained by Harman Lakra, who is a Sports Association of India coach. From 2005, Birendra was trained by Raju Kant Saini, a NIS (National Institute of Sports) coach. Besides, Birendra also received guidance from Olympian and Arjun award winner Late Michael Kindo for a brief period.
SAIL Football Academy striving for excellence with each passing day
SAIL’s Bokaro academy has been playing an imperative role in the rise of football in Jharkhand and India. For the last 20 years, the Steel Authority of India (SAIL) football academy at Bokaro has been shaping and nurturing future talent for Indian football in its state-of-the-art facilities in the mineral-rich town.
Bokaro football facility is one of the two football-dedicated academies run by the state-owned steel-making giant. The promotion of sports has always been an integral part of SAIL’s philosophy since its inception in 1954. With the setup of steel-making plants at Rourkela, Bhilai, Durgapur, Bokaro, and Burnpur, sports facilities were also provided to the workers and employees in the plants.
Over the years, a total of six academies dedicated to football, hockey, archery, and athletics have mushroomed around the plants run by SAIL.
Tata Steel encouraging indigenous sports talent
Tata Steel has been one of the foremost promoters of indigenous sports talent in the country. Having built academies for football, archery, athletics, hockey, and sport climbing, Tata Steel has encouraged and supported sports for almost a century now as a part of its culture.
In 1920, Company’s first chairman Sir Dorabji Tata financed India’s first Olympic team to Antwerp, Belgium. Tata Steel later established the Jamshedpur Athletic Club in 1927 and started sports competitions for working women and children.
To date, Tata Steel has produced 1 Padma Bhushan, 11 Padma Shri, 1 Khel Ratna, 5 Dronacharya, and 41 Arjuna Awardees in the field of sports.
JRD Tata Sports Complex
Inaugurated in 1991, the 30-acre sports complex in Jamshedpur has a seating capacity of 25,000 people. The facility provides athletes with boarding and training facilities. The complex has an international-size football field along with an eight-lane synthetic running track around the field. JRD Tata Sports Complex is also the home ground for newly formed Jamshedpur FC. The stadium in the sports complex hosted the home matches of Jamshedpur FC for the ISL Season 2017-18, 2018-19 & 2019-20.
The sports complex also encompasses an Olympic size state-of-the-art swimming pool. It is primarily used for football and athletics, with other facilities like archery, basketball, field hockey, swimming, table tennis, tennis, volleyball, etc.