The 20-year-old spoke to Hockey India about her training for the Tokyo Olympics.

With their national coaching camp drawing to an end on Saturday, Indian women’s hockey team striker Lalremsiami feels there are plenty of positives this year despite the pandemic stalling their plans of achieving success at major international events including the Olympic Games.

“This week, as we wrap up the national camp, I think most of us are in a mood to reflect back on the year that was meant to take us to new heights. Though the pandemic posed several challenges for us, we are looking at the positives that have made us believe in ourselves more than ever. The pandemic has certainly made us stronger mentally and we have become stronger and tight-knit as a group,” stated Lalremsiami.

The young striker from Mizoram, who has climbed up the ranks in the senior team after strong performances in major international events including the Asian Games in 2018 and the FIH Olympic Qualifier in 2019, expressed that the team’s philanthropic efforts that helped feed over 1000 families during the lockdown will remain one of her favourite 2020 moments.

She remarked, “Only weeks into the lockdown when we realised the struggles of people across the country who were rendered jobless and struggled to feed themselves and their families, we decided to do something to help them. We had never taken up a cause like this before but the entire team was unanimous in our decision and the support we received from across the hockey fraternity was immense. Raising over 20 lakhs through an online challenge and subsequently being able to feed more than 1000 families will remain a highlight for me this year.”

Lalremsiami also highlighted her captain Rani Rampal’s Khel Ratna Award which made her the first Indian women hockey player to achieve this honour.

“As I said, 2020 did have many positives too and one among them was a woman’s hockey player winning the Khel Ratna Award. Rani winning this esteemed honour has made us youngsters believe there is always recognition for hardwork and we feel women’s hockey is getting its due recognition. It was a big moment for women’s hockey,” said the forward.

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Lalremsiami too received accolades as she was declared the FIH Rising Star of the year 2019 and Asunta Lakra Award for Upcoming Player of the Year 2019 (U-21).

“We have achieved desirable targets in these last four months of the national coaching camp. The training was high in intensity, especially in the last six weeks. Next year, we hope to play good tournaments that will help us prepare as best as possible for the Tokyo Olympic Games,” she concluded.