Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): A 20-year-old dribbler from the state capital, Khushboo Khan, has been selected in India's 20-member squad for the upcoming under-23 tournament to be held in Dublin, Ireland, said the department of sports on Friday.
The tournament will be held from June 19 to 26 and five nations will take part in the same.
Khushboo, who resided in slums of the Jahangirabad area near the veterinary hospital in Bhopal, has crossed the hurdles of poverty and lack of opportunities to represent India on a global stage.
The youngest of five children, Khushboo started her journey of sports from a summer camp that was held in nearby Lal Parade ground, says her father Shabbir Khan, who works as an auto-rickshaw driver and plumber.
A hockey coach Anjum Khan identified her talent and motivated her to learn. She even helped her to get used shoes and hockey sticks of other players to practice.
Khushboo used to lend help to her mother Mumtaz Khan who worked as househelp in nearby homes in the middle of her practice.
Her mother says, “We couldn’t afford to buy a bicycle for her. She used to walk from home to Aishbagh and Major Dhyanchand stadium, to learn from Olympian Ashok Kumar. Kumar taught her the antics of the game while training the boys at his camp.”
Ashok says he first trained her as a goalkeeper. He knew that she was persistent and wouldn’t let anything come in the way of her dreams.