Forward Beauty Dungdung realises ambition of playing for India
The Indian Women's Hockey Team will go to Valencia, Spain, for the inaugural FIH Hockey Women's Nations Cup in 2022. This is a huge deal on the international calendar since it follows a promotion-relegation system, where the winners advance to the 2023–2024 FIH Hockey Women's Pro League.
In pool B, India is grouped alongside South Africa, Canada, and Japan. Ireland, Italy, Korea, and Spain, who are grouped in pool A, are the other participating teams. The team that will go to Valencia includes Beauty Dungdung, a member of the Indian Junior Women's Hockey Team that placed fourth in the FIH Hockey Women's Junior World Cup South Africa 2021.
Speaking on being chosen for the Indian Senior Women's Team for the first time, Beauty told The Bridge, "I am really happy about getting my name 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."
"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, a native of the Jharkhand province's Simdega area, started playing hockey when she was just 6 or 7 years old. She used to carry a hockey stick every day since the school where she was attending required all students to bring their sticks.
"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.
Beauty participated in her first U14 Nationals in 2016. She participated in her first sub-junior national the following year before receiving an invitation to the senior district national in 2019. The same year, Beauty was chosen for the Indian Junior Women's National Camp.
"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
The young forward talks about the team's preparations as she gets ready for her first senior tour.
"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.
Indian Women's Team
Goalkeepers: Savita (Captain), Bichu Devi Kharibam Defenders: Deep Grace Ekka (Vice Captain), Gurjit Kaur, Nikki Pradhan, Udita, Ishika Chaudhary Midfielders: Nisha, Salima Tete, Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam, Monika, Neha, Sonika, Jyoti, Navjot Kaur Forwards: Vandana Katariya, Lalremsiami, Navneet Kaur, Sangita Kumari, Beauty Dungdung.