New Delhi, Nov 22 (IANS) Sharing a famous surname, which reminds hockey aficionados of the peerless defender Sylvanus Dung Dung — the 1980 Olympics gold medallist, Beauty Dungdung is looking forward to excelling for the Indian women’s hockey team in the upcoming Nations Cup in Spain.
Beauty Dungdung has been named in the Indian women’s hockey squad that will travel to Valencia for the FIH Hockey Women’s Nations Cup being held for the first time in 2022. The FIH Women’s Nations Cup is an important fixture in the international calendar as it brings in a system of promotion-relegation, where the winner will be promoted to the FIH Hockey Women’s Pro League’s 2023-2024 season.
India are grouped in pool B along with Canada, Japan and South Africa. The other teams in the fray are Ireland, Italy, Korea and Spain who are grouped in pool A.
Beauty, who was part of the Indian junior women’s hockey team that finished in the fourth position in the FIH Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup South Africa 2021, said she is really happy to be selected for the Indian senior women’s team.
“I am really happy about getting into the team. I was not expecting this as there are a lot of good players at the training camp. I was really surprised. I am grateful that my hard work is paying off,” Beauty said.
“It was my dream to get selected for the Indian Senior Women’s Hockey Team. So, I am very happy about this,” she added.
Beauty, who hails from Simdega district in Jharkhand, began her hockey journey when she was just around 6-7 years. The school where she was studying required every student to bring their hockey sticks, and hence she used to carry one each day.
“Growing up, I received a lot of support from my family to pursue the sport, especially my father who really encouraged me. I learned a lot about the sport from him. Soon, I started playing hockey from the hostel in our region,” she said.
In 2016, Beauty competed in her first U14 Nationals. The following year, she competed in her first sub-junior national before being invited to compete in the senior district national in 2019. Beauty was selected for the Indian junior women’s national camp the same year.
“My first tour with the junior women’s team was in 2019 in Ireland. Then, I travelled to Belarus and Australia in the same year. In 2021, I travelled with the team to Chile. And then this year, I received the opportunity to travel for the FIH Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup South Africa 2021, where I learned a lot,” she said
As she prepares for her first senior tour, the young forward discusses how the team has been preparing for the event.
“We’re putting in a lot of time and effort in training. We are having practice sessions where we are learning basic skills such as high balls, changing direction, and so on because these are the things we need to instill in ourselves,” the 19-year-old explained.
“The FIH Hockey Women’s Nations Cup is crucial to us. We have to win the matches if we have to qualify for the FIH Women’s Hockey Pro League 2022-2023. We’re having a lot of team discussions, and we need to remember these things so we can apply them during the games and get the desired results,” Beauty signed off.