Celebrated women’s hockey player and administrator Elvera Britto passed away here on Tuesday. An outstanding player and champion of women’s hockey, Elvera was the captain of the Indian and then Mysore teams.

She led Mysore State to the Senior national title for eight consecutive years, from 1960 to 1967. Elvera, alongside her sisters Rita and Mae, formed a formidable trio for the State and Indian teams.

She received the Arjuna Award in 1966, becoming the first woman recipient of the prestigious award. After her playing career, Elvera was the Government nominee in the National Selection Committee for over a decade. She also served as the President of the Karnataka State Women’s Hockey Association for two terms.

Former India men’s hockey captain Jude Felix recalled Elvera’s undying commitment to improving the state of women’s hockey. “Every time I met her, I was amazed at her passion for women’s hockey. She felt that women did not get the same opportunities as men in the sport, and she always tried to make things better for women’s hockey. She was very
happy that our academy - Jude Felix Hockey Academy - included girls in our programme. In fact, she even made a donation to our academy. She was a lady of action, not words,” Felix told Sportstar .

“I did not get the chance to see her play, but our seniors always spoke very highly of her skills. During a recent interaction with Elvera, she spoke at length about the forgotten skill of using the reverse stick. Her technical knowledge amazed me,” Felix said.

The Karnataka State Hockey Association (KSHA) condoled her demise.