Thu, 05 Aug 2021

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], June 15 (ANI): In 2020 when India was grappling with a nationwide lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Indian women's hockey team took up a unique challenge which was to raise funds in order to help feed more than 1000 families from economically underprivileged backgrounds. They raised over Rs 20 lakh through a 21-day online fitness challenge.

In 2021, ahead of the Olympic Games 2020, the women's team has yet again taken up a challenge and this time they have vowed to dedicate their performance in Tokyo to the COVID warriors and frontline workers of India.

In a video message released by Hockey India on Tuesday, skipper Rani Rampal said, "This Olympics is unlike any other in the past. Our country has been through a lot, and we are proud of our doctors and frontline workers who have selflessly worked to save lives. As we work hard towards securing a medal at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, we pledge to dedicate our efforts and hopefully our victory to these covid warriors. We are all here and safe thanks to them. Thank you, Jai Hind."Rani further stated that this unanimous decision will further fuel the team's aspiration to finish on the podium in Tokyo. She said: "When we take up a vow like this, there is an added onus on us to do exceedingly well. Winning for India is always a goal but winning for our countrymen and women who have made many sacrifices in order to save lives during this pandemic will make it a truly special outing in Tokyo for the team."Rani further stated that the team feels inspired by the duty-bound doctors, nurses and several other paramedics who have tirelessly worked without a break since the pandemic first broke out in India last year.

"We draw a lot of inspiration from these great people who have risked their own lives to save others. We have come across numerous such stories of sacrifice and humanity. As players, the only thing we can give in return for their great efforts is by achieving something historic and dedicate it to them and that's what we have decided to do," Rani said.

With less than 40 days remaining for the Tokyo Olympic Games, the members of the women's hockey Olympic core group continue to give their best and are leaving no stone unturned in their training at SAI Centre, Bengaluru.

Rani stated that she and her teammates are making each and every training session count. "Everyone is pumped up to give their best shot to make it to the squad. We are undergoing selection trials this week and the environment is really good around the team, and my teammates are making each and every training session count at the camp," said Rani. (ANI)

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