By Indian Express | India |
‘Papa couldn’t afford to buy me a stick’: Indian women’s hockey team captain Rani Rampal shares inspiring journey
Indian women’s hockey team skipper Rani Rampal became the youngest player in the national team for 2010 World Cup at the age of 15.
The 26-year-old, who participated in the Olympics this year, shared her inspiring journey on the Humans of Bombay page recently.
Hailing from Shahabad Markanda in the Kurukshetra district of Haryana, Rampal talked about how she started practising with a “broken hockey stick”. With her father working as a cart-puller and mother as a househelp, it became difficult to make ends meet. “I wanted an escape from my life; from the electricity shortages to the mosquitoes buzzing in our ear, from barely having two meals to seeing our home getting flooded. There was only so much my parents could do — Papa was a cart puller and Maa was a maid.”
Tokyo Olympics: India rejoices women's hockey team's semi-final spot: India's women's hockey team has scripted history after qualifying for the semi-finals of the Olympics for the first time with a stunning 1-0 victory. They beat Australia, who had been looking for their first medal since securing a podium finish in Sydney in 2000, in the quarter-finals. India's Gurjit Kaur scored the match's only goal in the second quarter. - BBC (2 Aug 2021)
Rampal developed an interest in hockey once she started spending hours watching the game at a nearby academy. “Every day, I’d ask the coach to teach me. He’d reject me saying, ‘You aren’t strong enough to pull through a practice session.’ So, I began practicing with a broken hockey stick-I used to run around in a salwar kameez. But I was determined,” she said, adding that she finally managed to convince the coach too.
Rampal’s family, however, were not in favour of watching their daughter play in a skirt. “I’d plead, ‘Please mujhe jaane do (please let me go). If I fail, I’ll do whatever you want.’ My family gave in.”
In 2017, she fulfilled her dream of buying a home for her family. “We cried and held each other tightly! And I’m not done yet,” she wrote.
Read the full story, ‘Papa couldn’t afford to buy me a stick’: Indian women’s hockey team captain Rani Rampal shares inspiring journey (The Indian Express, 28 July 2021), here.
Tokyo 2020: Hockey India names Rani Rampal, Manpreet Singh to lead India (Asia Samachar, 23 June 2021)
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