Playing for Junior Team helped gain experience, says Sangita Kumari

Shaunak GhoshShaunak Ghosh

March 7 2022
Sangita kumari
(Courtesy : Hockey India)

The young striker scored on her debut for the Indian women’s hockey team against Spain in the FIH Women’s Pro League.

Young striker Sangita Kumari has been making the right impression every time she has been called up for India duty. While she has been an integral part of the Junior India Women’s side, she was tried in the Senior Women’s side which played Spain recently in a double-header at the FIH Hockey Pro League in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. She utilized the opportunity to make a memorable debut and even scored a fine goal in her maiden outing. 

The youngster from Jharkhand believes this is only the beginning. “I was very excited and also nervous making my Senior India debut but I think what helped me was the exposure I had received in the Junior India team over the past few years. Also, training with the Senior group has been a completely different experience. I have learnt a lot over these past few months and I feel this is only the beginning for me,” stated the India forward. 

Sangita Kumari first came into the limelight during the 2016 Girls U18 Asia Cup, where she scored eight goals and helped the team clinch the Bronze medal. She was also a part of the Hockey Jharkhand team which won the 9th Hockey India Junior Women National Championship 2019 (A Div). Soon after this performance, she received a call-up for the Indian Junior Women’s side. She featured in as many as six International tournaments for the Junior side and was also one of the key members of the team that remained unbeaten in the Chile tour last year. She scored four goals in five matches during this tour. 

“I feel these outings with the Junior team gave me a lot of confidence. The Junior team also follows a similar structure to the Senior side so it was not too hard for me to adapt to their game. But I feel there is still a lot of hard work that I need to put in to make a mark in the Senior team and find a regular place,” said Sangita Kumari

Talking about the talent coming out of her home town Simdega, in Jharkhand, Sangita said, “We have a strong hockey culture in Simdega and the state has provided good infrastructure for us. The state team too has been performing well at the Nationals and players like Salima Tete and Nikki Pradhan who have represented India at the Olympics have inspired many young players in this region to take up the sport,” she concluded.  

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