The forward was part of the Indian women’s hockey team that finished fourth at the Tokyo Olympics.

The Indian Women’s Hockey Team players Navneet Kaur and Neha, who were part of the historic fourth-place finish campaign at the Tokyo Olympics last year, spoke about their journey in hockey when they appeared on Hockey Te Charcha ­– a podcast series initiated by Hockey India. 

When asked about how she started playing the game of hockey, Forward Navneet Kaur said, “I always had a great interest in sports since my childhood. My father wanted me to be a cricketer, but there was no cricket in my hometown – Shahabad. There was a school in front of my house where hockey was played and that’s where I started playing the sport. My father, who used to work in a TV repairing shop, has put in a lot of effort to help me reach the Indian team.”

The 26-year-old also spoke about the importance of the Hockey Junior World Cup 2013 in her career.

“The Hockey Junior World Cup 2013 was the biggest tournament for me when I joined the Junior Indian Women’s Team. It was quite a good tournament for me. We won the Bronze Medal after winning a shoot-out and I had also scored in the shoot-out. A lot of players from that Indian Junior team are playing together in the current Senior India Team. It has felt really nice to play with the same players for so many years,” said Navneet.

The Indian Women’s Hockey Team Forward Neha expressed about the importance of her mother in her life, “I faced a lot of challenges when I started playing hockey. One of my friends in school had asked me to start playing hockey and the friend had also taken me to the ground. I started playing only because we were given shoes and clothes. And since then, I have been practicing at the Hockey Academy in Sonepat. My Coach and my mother have supported me a lot. My mother has struggled a lot to help me reach where I am today.”

Neha also expressed that the Indian Team performed well at the Tokyo Olympics because the team worked hard on its fitness, “We felt really happy when we won the Gold Medal at the Women’s Asia Cup 2017. Thereafter, our confidence kept increasing little by little and we kept improving our performance as well. We also focussed on improving our fitness. Then we played well at the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers 2019 and then we produced a good result at the Tokyo Olympics. We could do well at the Olympics only because we had improved our fitness.” 

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