Hockey India’s support has been critical in success of our team: Deepika Thakur

Former Indian Hockey Star Deepika Thakur said that the support given by Hockey India has been instrumental in the success of women’s team in last few years. As Indian women’s team recently break into top 10 of FIH World rankings after claiming the 9th position which is biggest milestone for women’s hockey till now.

Deepika who played 200 games for India was recently conferred with Arjuna Award for her contribution towards the great game of Hockey. She was also the member of  that Indian team who won Asia cup in 2017. She talked about the progress of Indian women’s hockey in detail as she believes that team is working hard at SAI campus in Bengaluru for the upcoming Olympics 2021 which will give them strong chance to finish in Top 4 in the Olympic games next year and lot of credit should be given to Hockey India as they are making sure that all the players follow the health protocol and remain fit and healthy in this pandemic time.

“I am happy that the team was able to resume activities soon after nationwide lockdowns ended. Even though there may not be any competitions this year due to the prevailing travel restrictions, remaining in the national camp will allow the players enough time to return to old form and keep up their fitness level,” said Thakur in an official release issued by Hockey India.

“Five years ago, if you would ask me whether the women’s team had it in them to break into the top 10 rankings in the world, my answer may not have been a sure yes. I feel Hockey India providing the best coaching setup and also demanding results from them and the players on similar lines as the men’s team has had a positive effect on the team. The women’s team is determined to show that they too can win tournaments like the men’s team. We have won the Asian Champions Trophy (2016), Asia Cup (2017), entered the quarterfinals in the World Cup in London, won silver at the Asian Games 2018. I think these are all great results and collective work by coaching staff and the federation. I feel Hockey India has ensured the women’s team gets fantastic exposure at the international level and planning the ACTC (Annual Calendar for Training and Competition) accordingly has been critical in the team’s resurgence,” she added.

She added that the current Indian women’s side has all the ingredients available in their team to give their best in the upcoming mega event as they are staying at the National camp without any competition it will not be easy for them to stay motivated all the time in that case all the players have to back each other and they need to look at the bigger picture that their job is to win medals in Olympics for that the only thing that is required is their fitness, hard work and most importantly the winning mindset.

She further stressed that team will gain immense confidence by doing well in New Zealand early this year and winning back to back competition held last year hence they need to believe in them and experience players have to step up in this tough time and make sure that all the youngsters remain cool and stay positive ahead of the upcoming sporting event next year.