Bhopal: Indian Women Hockey Team is much stronger than before but most of the players still come from rural background and financially weak families,” said Rosland Ralte, captain of Indian Railway Women Hockey Team. The 28-year-old Ralte is in the city along with team to participate in All India Rajmata VijayRaje Scindia Gold Cup Women’s Hockey Tournament.
Ralte hails from Manipur and is currently working as accountant assistant in Railway. Speaking to Free Press about her passion, Ralte said: “I have been playing hockey since childhood but I had never thought to make career in the field. It’s a co-incident. I started playing hockey on the suggestion of my school coach.”
Stating that she had to struggle a lot in the beginning, Ralte – whose father is teacher and mother a homemaker -, informed, “I have played 20 international games including Junior Women Asian Game in 2010. I played for Indian Hockey team from 2005 to 2011. I have also played for MP Sports Academy.” Another player of the team, Manjeet Kaur, 23, who is visiting the city for the first time, said: “I have been playing hockey for 10 years and played many international and national games including World Cup 2013.”
Manjeet, who hails from Shahbad, Haryana said that there are many women players from her home state and they inspired her to make career in the game. “Rani Ram Pal is my ideal…not only hockey, any game helps in building confidence and changes the personality,” said the player informing that her father is farmer and mother a home maker. “I think the state of hockey is better than before. Earlier only Railways used to provide jobs to players but nowadays many institutions like UCO, IOC and CRPF are offering job. So, there is lot of scope in the field,” she said.
The tournament which began from December 1, is being organised by Bhopal Municipal Corporaton at Major Dhyanchand Stadium for the first time. The Indian Railway team played three games and has won all. The team defeated Gujarat Team on Monday by 14-0. Earlier, it had scored victory over Bhopal Sai and Hisar team.