Bengaluru, August 29
Khel Ratna awardee Rani Rampal feels that equal alternatives like males’s workforce has contributed tremendously in direction of the improved efficiency of the ladies’s hockey workforce previously decade.
The Indian ladies’s workforce captain alongside cricketer Rohit Sharma, wrestler Vinesh Phogat, desk tennis participant Manika Batra and Paralympian Thangavelu Mariyappan had been conferred with the Khel Ratna award nearly by President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday.
“From when I started to now, many things have changed for the good in women’s hockey. Back when I began playing, women’s team played very few tournaments. We mostly played major events like Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games but now the scenario has changed so much,” Rani stated in a media launch.
“Hockey India and the management ensured that we played tournaments round the year which has contributed tremendously towards our performance improving over the years and has also helped popularise women’s hockey,” she added.
Rani is the primary girl from the game to obtain the distinguished Khel Ratna award and solely the third hockey participant after Dhanraj Pillay and Sardar Singh to get the nation’s highest sporting honour.
“Over the previous one week, since my identify was formally introduced for the Khel Ratna award, I’ve been reflecting again on my journey to date and it makes me really feel overwhelmed that girls’s hockey will get equal significance as the lads’s workforce,” she stated.
“…and a women’s player being recognized with the highest award definitely goes to show the sport is moving in the right direction.”
“I thank the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, SAI and Hockey India for giving us all the opportunities to showcase our potential and at the same time recognizing our efforts,” she added.
Men’s ahead Akashdeep Singh, who obtained the Arjuna award this yr, additionally expressed his happiness.
“I thank everybody who has been a part of my journey to date. I’ve been very lucky to play for my nation together with among the best gamers within the sport,” stated the striker.
“I also thank Hockey India and SAI for their support and ensuring we are provided with the best facilities to train,” he stated.
Both Rani and Akashdeep are at the moment a part of the on-going nationwide teaching camp at Sports Authority of India, Bengaluru campus.
Hockey India’s officiating president Gyanendro Ningombam congratulated all of the award winners.
“On behalf of Hockey India, I congratulate Romesh Pathania for winning the Dronacharya award, Rani for winning the Khel Ratna Award, Akashdeep and Deepika Thakur for winning the Arjuna award,” stated Ningombam.
“I additionally congratulate Jude Felix for profitable the Dronacharya award and Ajit Singh for profitable the Dhyan Chand life-time achievement award. Their contribution in direction of the expansion of the game in India has been super.”
“I wish both Rani and Akashdeep will use this award as a big motivation to continue to do well in the sport and achieve the team’s goals at Tokyo Olympic Games,” he added. PTI