'Learning Experience To Train Alongside Senior Players,' Says Indian Team Defender Ropni Kumari

(MENAFN- IANS) New Delhi, April 24 (IANS) Indian women's hockey team defender Ropni Kumari looked back on the previous year and explained how consistent opportunities to play with the Indian junior women's hockey team have contributed to her development.

The 19-year-old was part of the team that claimed the gold medal at the Women's Junior Asia Cup 2023 and also travelled with the team to Dusseldorf, Germany for the 2023 Junior Women's Invitational Tournament.

Ropni was also a key player for the side at the 2023 FIH Junior World Cup in Santiago, Chile and played in all six games.

"It was a good year for me as I was able to earn consistent opportunities with the team and was able to improve as a player. I am thankful to the support staff and the coaches for backing me and also to my teammates for allowing me to express myself. Winning the Gold medal at the Women's Junior Asia Cup remains one of my favourite memories," she said.

Ropni was recently named among the 33-member National women's team core group that is training at the SAI Centre in Bengaluru which will run till May 16. She was among the players that were selected from the 60-member assessment squad that reported to camp on April 1, after the selection trials that were held on April 6 and 7.

Speaking on her experiences of training with the senior team, Ropni said, "It has been a fantastic experience for me as I can rub shoulders with the best players. They are constantly giving us proper guidance and ensuring we feel comfortable at all times."

On being asked about what advice she has received from the senior players, Ropni elaborated, "They are constantly advising us on how to deal with pressure and how to remain calm during tough games. It has been one of the key aspects where I feel I can improve. It has been quite a learning experience for me, and I feel it will help in increasing the rate of my growth.

Ropni, now, is looking to work even harder to make her debut for the Senior Team and is hoping she gets a chance to showcase her talent against the top competitors. "It is everyone's dream to represent the country, and as a team, we are quite focused this year on our growth. I am looking forward to working even harder so that I am ready whenever my name is called up to be a part of the senior team squad. I hope to compete against the best teams as it will also help me in understanding the level of hockey that is played at this level," she signed off.



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