Bengaluru, July 10 (MNN) Playing in the Olympics has been a childhood dream for Indian women’s hockey team forward Navneet Kaur, and she is clearly determined to make it an experience of a lifetime.
And for this, the 25-year-old asserts, she will leave no stone unturned at the Tokyo Olympics.
“Playing at the Olympics is my childhood dream. I will leave no stone unturned to make it wonderful. With experience comes responsibility. I have already played 79 games for India and the focus is now on leading from the front. The team has been sweating it out at the national camp in Bengaluru and we are going to have a memorable outing in Tokyo,” Navneet told Hockey India.
The forward also spoke about the influence of Shahabad Markanda – called the nursery of Indian hockey — on her sporting career.
“I come from Shahabad Markanda, a small town in Haryana but which plays a huge part in the development of hockey. My teammates Rani and Navjot Kaur have also trained at the Shahabad Hockey Academy.
“I remember when I came back to Shahabad after winning the bronze in the Junior Women’s Hockey World Cup in Germany in 2013, people welcomed us with all their hearts. There was a grand procession in Shahabad, people were dancing and celebrating as if they had won.”
Navneet said that she feels proud to be a part of the current national team.
“From the beginning, I was sure that I wanted to play hockey. I made my debut for the senior India team in 2014. The fans started appreciating our efforts after some tremendous performances in the 2018 Women’s World Cup, Asia Cup, Asian Games and Asian Champions Trophy.
“I feel proud to be a part of such a team, which is like a family. Rani and Savita keep exchanging ideas with us on how we can improve as a team. It is crucial to have a clear mindset on match days. The coaches and the entire team are working towards that goal,” said the forward.
The 25-year-old asserted that the women’s hockey team had developed a habit of fighting till the last minute in every match.
“A lot has changed in the mindset of our team in the past few years, we don’t fear the stronger opponents anymore. Earlier, when we used to play against the Netherlands or Great Britain, we used to panic. That’s not the case now. We fight until the final whistle. It’s not over until it’s over,” Navneet said.