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Read an Inspiring Interview: Indian Hockey’s Former Captain Ritu Rani with Mypencildotcom.

Read an Inspiring Interview: Indian Hockey’s Former Captain Ritu Rani with Mypencildotcom.

MyPencildotcom: Why did you say the statement “Chalo Kisi ne to hume pucha”?

Ritu Rani: I said this statement because I was very sad because we were not getting much recognition as sportsperson. A very few numbers of people are aware that I’m an Indian hockey team captain. Neither we nor our matches are highlighted as compared to other sports.  

MyPencildotcom: What are all the changes that have occurred in the present time?

Ritu Rani: I think social media has brought a change in the life of everyone. Hockey players are being highlighted and even the audience gets all the updates about the upcoming events through Instagram and Facebook pages and also matches are going live on TV channels as well. Players get support and motivation through all these methods.

MyPencildotcom: Do you think hockey needs to get popular because people still don’t support and encourage this sport?

Ritu Rani: Yaa, I think it needs to get popular in schools and all because we get all the facilities at the international level but these facilities are somewhere ignored at the grassroots level. Proper diet and equipment should be provided at the grassroots level so that players can improve themselves and perform better.

Ritu Rani

MyPencildotcom: When did you realize that you have an interest in hockey?

Ritu Rani: I wasn’t interested in hockey. My brother who is also a hockey player was very interested in hockey and always wanted to join the hockey team. HE used to go for training. Sardar Baldev Singh Ji was his coach and one day when he came to know about me, he told my brother to bring me along with him. At first, I refused because I wasn’t interested at all but then my family supported me, and then I joined hockey. 

MyPencildotcom: Did you face any problems when you started your journey and would like your daughter to join hockey?

Ritu Rani: Yes, I faced some problems from my relatives when I started playing hockey but my family was always there to support me and now, I’m such a great hockey player.

And, being a sportsperson, I wanted my daughter to be a hockey player. For this, I often give her training and also upload her videos on my YouTube channel.

MyPencildotcom: How do you overcome your failures?

Ritu Rani: Actually, it was like a tragedy for me when I wasn’t selected for the Olympics. In 2016, I went into a stage of depression when I was not selected as a player for the Olympics. Although, I was the captain of the team and the team was qualified but I was not selected. Even I took retirement as well. But, after getting support from my husband and family, I again started playing and took myself out of the depression.

MyPencildotcom: According to you, what were the reasons for not getting selected for the Olympics?

Ritu Rani: I think all the players were very hard working but they couldn’t get selected due to lack of perfection. Also, the qualifying round is very tough. In the 2012 Olympics, we lost our match in the qualifying round which we played with South Africa. According to me, the problem was in the perfection where the players make goals at the beginning of the match and created pressure.

MyPencildotcom: Do you think your name is included in Arjuna Award’s list?

Ritu Rani: No, I don’t think that now I’m capable of this award because according to the guidelines there must be an achievement of the current four years. I didn’t get it when I deserved it, so now I’ve stopped dreaming about it. Recently, I applied for the Dhyanchand award, and even last year I applied for it. Moreover, I think that I deserve it, let’s hope for the best.

MyPencildotcom: Where do you see yourself in the next ten years?

Ritu Rani: As of now, my focus is on playing league and tournaments. Also, my husband has started a hockey academy in Patiala where we both train students and mold them to become successful hockey players in the future. I always share my experience with them and guide them in such a way that at least 2-3 players among them could play for nationals. It’s just been four months and there are almost 15 boys from all over India. We provide them education, food and etc at free of cost. A tournament was held in Punjab where these children participated and even won the match. Although it’s very tough and challenging to manage all these things, still our only motive is to provide a platform for them.

MyPencildotcom: What is the position of hockey as compared to cricket or any other sports?

Ritu Rani: I won’t say that cricket is not a good sport but I think there must be a balance between all the sports. Despite being teamwork, all the players are individually highlighted in Cricket. Their events, tournaments, and even the test matches are telecasted on TV. All the sports should be equally highlighted and even hockey matches should be telecasted on television whether it is on an international level or grassroots level.

MyPencildotcom: How did you join Indian railways and then Haryana Income-Tax?

Ritu Rani: Meanwhile, because of hockey, I got a job in the Income-Tax department and was placed as a Police Inspector. Though, it was quite difficult for me to work as an Inspector that’s why I filled the form in the Income-Tax department and got selected there. I think there should be more options of departments for women.