The focus from cricket has shifted to other sports in our country over the years and the accomplishments of female athletes and women's teams are also being highlighted more today. Did you know India has a women’s ice hockey team? Despite facing hurdles galore, the players have impressed with their show internationally.
On the occasion of Republic Day, Republic TV honoured the persons who have made the country proud as a part of the ‘Proud to be Indian’ special and the team rightfully deserved a place in the segment.
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The Indian women’s ice hockey team is fully represented by players from Ladakh. The team members practise only for two months as long as the natural frozen ponds last and at the world’s highest ice. However, they lack the basic facilities needed like dasher boards made of Aluminium extrusion, HDPE / Poly Carbonate and Acrylic, which form the fence around an ice rink. Despite the hardships, the team won two matches at Asia’s most high-profile ice hockey tournament in 2017, giving us reasons to be immensely proud of them.
The women’s team as well as the men’s team members spoke from Leh about their journey with the sport.
The spokesperson of the women’s team said, “Earlier, there used to be a lot of mockery when we used to play. But now it has improved a lot and people have been supporting us and encouraging us. We see many other sports where women are discriminated against, but here we don’t face the same situation, we work together as a team, not as girls and boys.”
One of the players, who is pursuing her MBBS studies, said, “From the last one year, I’ve been in the Indian women’s ice hockey team and it’s been a huge pleasure and honour for me to represent the country on an international platform, a dream that ice hockey helped me achieve. Apart from the infrastructure, we are also not able to get proper coaches, which is a major drawback because of which we have not been able to improve our standards when we are up against international teams. We hope the Government will improve the infrastructure.”