India’s Women’s Hockey Team Triumph Celebrated in the UK

The Indian High Commission in London honored India’s women’s national hockey team for their impressive achievements, highlighting their struggles and triumphs. Along with the men’s team, they are in the UK for FIH Pro League matches against Germany. The reception praised their spirit and role in inspiring the nation.

PTI | London | Updated: 30-05-2024 15:38 IST | Created: 30-05-2024 15:38 IST
India’s Women’s Hockey Team Triumph Celebrated in the UK
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The High Commission of India here gave a rousing welcome to the country's women's national hockey team as dignitaries sang paeans to the players for their achievements in the sport after overcoming obstacles on the road to success.

The women's team, along with the senior India men's squad, is in the United Kingdom for the FIH Pro League fixtures starting this weekend. The Indian men's and women's sides are scheduled to play their counterparts from Germany here on Saturday. ''Each one of them represents every part of India and every region and community of India. Their stories are the most wonderful stories of what is possible in India,'' said Indian High Commissioner to the UK Vikram Doraiswami, in his address at the reception.

The reception was held at the India House on Wednesday evening. ''Each one of these girls is a story of sacrifice and struggle by their parents, and also a story of triumph and of spirit. ''These young ladies inspire every one of us today because what they have achieved tells us that there is no ceiling to human ambition, there is no ceiling in a country like India – where anything and everything can be possible,'' Doraiswami added. The team, led by captain Salima Tete and coach Harendra Singh, were greeted by cheering supporters as community leaders and sports fans gathered at a special reception in their honour.

Their first fixture will take place when they play Germany in London on Saturday and members of the Indian diaspora were encouraged to turn out in large numbers to support the team.

The Indian teams are coming to the UK after playing some difficult Pro League matches in Belgium against sides such as Argentina, Ireland and the hosts.

The Indian envoy, himself a hockey player, reflected upon how playing England on their home soil will bring back some memories for the women's team after narrowly losing to them in the last Olympics' playoff.

''We really look forward to being able to come and support you and to tell everybody what great stuff is happening in Indian hockey and what great stuff Indian women are doing in changing India. ''Every goal that you score, every game that you play and every day that you train and get better, India becomes a better country. And for that thank you very, very much,'' he said.

The Australian High Commissioner to the UK, Stephen Smith, was among the special guests at the event, and he said India ''taught'' Australia how to improve their hockey and become a heavyweight in the sport.

''The reason that Australia has become so good at hockey is because the Indians taught us everything,'' said Smith in his address.

''In Australia, as in every continent in the world, there is a large Indian diaspora and in the 1950s and 1960s that Indian diaspora taught Australians how to play hockey. It is the case that we adjusted to the artificial turf game, and what I call the horizontal game, better or more quickly than India. ''But that doesn't mean that India is not a hockey playing country to be admired, both in the men's game and in the women's game,'' he added.

The Deputy High Commissioner of India to the UK, Sujit Ghosh, indulged in light-hearted conversations with some of the players and their coach and discovered the many hidden talents of the team.

In his address in Hindi, coach Harendra said, ''India taught the whole world how to play hockey... if there is a vishwa guru in hockey, then that's India. ''Yes, there are ups and downs in this journey, but I am extremely proud to see what our women's team has achieved in the last few years.'' He added, ''Winning or losing aside, whenever our team is on the pitch there is a certain fear among the opponents. This reflects the changing landscape of our country as a whole, where women have a large share in the rise of India today.'' Over the next couple of weeks, the Indian teams will play their matches at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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