~The Indian Women’s Captain says that steps have been taken to enhance gender equality in sports~

 New Delhi, 8th March, 2024: On the occasion of International Women’s Day 2024, Indian Women’s Team Captain, Savita Punia delivered a strong message and said that the key to achievement lies in believing in yourself. She said, “When I started playing, I was lucky that I got full support from my family despite the challenges. That was a massive confidence booster for me. However, that was not the case for everyone. But with time, situation has changed for the good. So, always believe in yourself and don’t think that you are any less than anyone. Set your goals, and put all your hard-work with determination and motivation. It may take a bit of time to achieve your goals, but in the end, you will always get there.”

“If you see, there are a lot of players from Haryana who are in the Indian Hockey Team. That just shows you that times have changed and it should continue like this. It makes me so happy that girls from across India are now getting support from their families. Family plays a significant role in the success of a child. If the child has his family’s backing, I am sure that the child will give his best to make the family proud. It is great to see equality between genders. You can take as many steps and initiatives towards equality, but it is great to see women getting equal opportunity to show their mettle in all walks of life.”

With the 14th Hockey India Senior Women National Championship 2024 going to be held in Pune where India’s top hockey players and budding stars will be vying for honours representing their respective state teams, Savita talked about the significance of this platform in nurturing and showcasing talent. She said, “The National Championships are more than just a competition, it is a platform where dreams and futures are shaped. Each and every player who dreams of playing for the National Team, has this incredible opportunity to showcase their skills and technique and make way into the Indian team.”

“The young players have this golden opportunity to spend quality time with the experienced players, interact with them, learn on where all they can improve their game and what should be their mindset if they want to see themselves donning the Indian jersey. The young players should take maximum benefit from this. There are a lot of domestic players who only wait for Senior National and Junior National as they believe this platform is a stepping stone for them and to show the selectors their potential and capabilities,” the three-time FIH Goalkeeper of the year award winner added.

Savita, who will be representing Haryana, also shed light on how important this will be for her in preparing for future tournaments. She said, “It is going to be experience as after a long time a lot of the players from the National team will be participating in this representing their respective states. Personally, for me, I have been playing for the last 15 years at an international level, and with each tournament and game, I am constantly looking to improve myself. Having said this, when you play at a domestic level, it’s a different game altogether as compared to international. It will be challenging for me as I am not well-aware of the players’ abilities. I will not be taking any game lightly and I will be as focused as when I am playing an international tournament. It will be a learning experience for me because I believe that there is no end to learning. Each day you learn something new.”

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