The 21-year-old Upasana Singh has been making big strides in the world of hockey and she aims to represent India at the Olympics.
The young midfielder, who was part of the national squad for the FIH Pro League 2021/22 matches against Netherlands in 2022, started pursuing the sport at the age of 11, while she was studying in Agra. "I was always interested in sports. I, first, started with cricket, but upon suggestion from my coach, I switched to hockey," Upasana said. During the Diwali season, Upasana was injured by a girl she was playing along with.
"Because of the injury I suffered, I became even more determined to pursue hockey and decided to dedicatedly pursue the sport," she added.
While receiving support from her parents, Upasana was questioned by her neighbours over her decision to pursue hockey. "At that time, not many knew about women's hockey. Today, the situation has completely changed. With our team's recent performances over the past decade, and our achievements, Hockey has become a well-known sport and even my family members now want their daughters to become hockey players," Upasana said.
Upasana moved to Madhya Pradesh Hockey Academy in 2013 and began her Junior Nationals career in 2013, as she helped her team win the Silver medal. In 2016, Upasana made her debut in the Senior Nationals and once again, she helped her team win the Silver medal.
"I was quite young at the time. Playing Nationals gave me a chance to grow my game and to learn a different set of skills at the time," she said.
In 2018, Upasana received her first opportunity to be a part of Junior's camp. In 2021, she was called up for the first time at the Indian Senior Women's Hockey Team camp, and was named among the 60-member core-probable group in January, 2022.
Currently back at the Madhya Pradesh Hockey Academy, preparing for the upcoming National Games, Upasana said that her dream is to represent India one day and stand on the Olympic podium.
"Much like any other hockey player, I wish to represent my country and wear the India jersey. My dream is to stand at the Olympic podium one day and make the nation proud," she signed off. (ANI)