Rani Rampal’s success offers me hope - Rajwinder Kaur

Rajwinder hopes to pull her family out of poverty through success in hockey.

Rajwinder Kaur is a member of the core group of probables chosen for the senior women's national team. - HOCKEY INDIA

The success achieved in hockey by Rani Rampal offers a ray of hope to 21-year-old Rajwinder Kaur to lift her family out of poverty.

Rajwinder is a member of the core group of probables chosen for the senior women’s national team. Her father is an auto driver and mother a homemaker.

“Everyone comes from very difficult backgrounds and each one's personal story is motivating, but Rani's struggle in her younger days and her subsequent rise in the sport gives me hope because I, too, come from similar background, and I hope I can also pull my family out of poverty by doing well in hockey,” she told Hockey India.

Rani is the eldest of three sisters and a brother who grew up in a culture where girls had to work the chores at home and sweat it out in nearby farms for a daily wage. Studying was never mandatory, and playing hockey was a rarity.

Rajwinder wanted to be an athlete but some seniors at school pushed her towards hockey.

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Her speed, abilities as a striker and natural flair caught the attention of national selectors during domestic tournaments in 2015. Soon, she was picked for the Junior National Camp and was given an opportunity to play for India at the U-18 Asia Cup 2016 in Malaysia.

Learning English

Rajwinder has been a regular member of the core group for the senior national team, and patiently awaits her maiden international cap. “I know I have the skills and speed, I need to work on my fitness which is a weak point and since I mostly played as a striker in junior days, I need to adapt to playing in the midfield,” she said.

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She utilised the lengthy break due to COVID-19, when she was stuck at SAI, Bengaluru, to learn English. “When I came into the senior camp, I found it very hard to understand because I didn't know English. I used the time during lockdown to learn the language using different books, online translations, and I would stand in front of the mirror and speak English,” she said.

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