Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): The women’s team from Madhya Pradesh will play for the first time in 57 years at the All-India Civil Services Hockey Tournament to be held at Kurukshetra, in Haryana. The state’s women’s team will have civil servants as old as 61 years at the tournament. The youngest member of the team is 49 years of age, while the rest are 55 years old and above.
Lucy Alphonso, the 61-year-old teacher at the Government Girls’ School in Barkhedi, was just as excited as the other 16 women who had come for the trials at the Aishbag Stadium on Tuesday. The 17 civil servants who had come for trials included nine teachers, seven government officials and one clerk.
Selector and coach Sameer Dad, who was accompanied by coach Rajinder Singh, said, “This is the first time I’ve seen women of this age so excited about the game. It’s the beginning of Phase 2.”
Alphonso said, “I was a national player from 1979 to 1982. I’ll be playing hockey after 30 years. India’s performance was phenomenal at the Olympics. The young chaps inspired me to hold the stick back in my hand and dribble around the grounds.”
The Civil Services Tournament, launched in 1964, witnesses government officials from across the nation—both state and the Centre.
‘After India’s incredible performance at Olympics this year, we have all the energy and inspiration we need to get the stick back in our hands and play our national sport,’ said Smita Sharma, 57, deputy registrar at the Registrar’s office
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