Mother’s Day | She is my strength, my backbone: Neha Goyal

"Having seen what she has gone through, my only wish is to make sure she gets every comfort that she deserves," hockey star Neha Goyal says about her mother.

Neha Goyal with her mother.

For someone who first burst on to the national scene at the 2018 World Cup with the winner against reigning Olympic champion England, Neha Goyal had been singled out for greater glory long before. Way back in 2007, former India captain Pritam Siwach had pointed out to Neha, then just nine, at her academy and told this reporter she was special – even without shoes, on an uneven, squishy, mud ground.

From there to being one of the main members of the national side, Neha credits her mother for everything she has achieved. “With three children and a husband who would often drink and wouldn’t come home for long periods, my mother never let us feel we didn’t have enough. Even as a kid, you know when things are bad. But for me, my mother has always been a woman who could do everything. And she did,” an emotional Goyal says.

Bringing up three daughters in a patriarchal society like Haryana was not easy. “Women my age are often married and some even with kids back home. I am playing for my country. It wasn’t easy to run the house and also ensure our schooling, but my mother did it. She never stopped me from playing either. She is my strength, my backbone. I have learnt to never give up, work hard and always stay positive from her. Having seen what she has gone through, my only wish is to make sure she gets every comfort that she deserves. I can never do enough for her but I can try,” she says.

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