In India, in the days gone by, when the men roughed it out in the field,
women were content to stand aside and watch. The same era has
produced women who counted themselves as equals, excelled in
their sport, and brought glory to their nation. Pune has its own share
of sportswomen. Here's what they have to say about themselves,
their sport and the lessons they have learnt.
SPORT : Hockey, India (1951-1961)
Secretary, Indian Women's Hockey Association (1979-1982)
" I thrive on challenges"
" Everybody must find time for sports. Sports help a child to concentrate, besides
" The corporate world can help to set up sports complexes zone wise. The government
should assure such companies of tax exemption. Moreover, incentives should be given to
successful ex-sports persons, so that they come forward to impart training and advise to
aspiring sportsmen and women.
SPORT : Cricket, India (1976-1991)
Executive Committee of the Women's Cricket Association of India
" I used to play cricket with the boys in our gully. Cricket is always what I wanted
" Sports has equipped me to face hardships, deal with tricky situations, handle
different kinds of people and rough it out it adverse conditions. You become street
" Our team is certainly good and they can reach the top, provided they are exposed to
more international matches."
" If you set your mind on something and focus on it, there is no reason why you can't
achieve your goal. Hard work and sacrifice are the key words. I was totally focussed and I
never thought of relaxing and enjoying life."
SPORT : Rowing, India (1983-1990)
First woman umpire in India
" Once the rowing bug bites you, there's no stopping. I thought that if I could get a
bronze medal with a little practice, surely the gold would be mine if I put in a lot more
SPORT : HOCKEY, India (1980-1984)
" Just to prove to people that marriage need not stop a sports person from achieving
success, I decided to make a comeback to hockey in 1989'
'" I used to watch seniors from the team wearing their blazers and the national
colours and I knew then that I wanted to be like them. That was tremendous motivation for
" Not everyone can be a winner. To be a winner, there has to be an inborn trait
first. The attitude, the physical aptitude, hard work and parental support which are also
a must, follow thereafter"
SPORT : Taekwondo and Karate
" I love martial and that's all that matters".
" I was actually on my way to Tilak swimming pool and since the road that I usually
took was closed for some reason, I took the Law College instead. I happened to see a board
for Taekwondo lessons and I decided to check out the place."
" I wish parents would research the credibility of classes before enrolling their
children into martial arts training. Many classes do not have the basic safety
requirements and therefore accidents can occur."
" An individual has to be mature enough to understand the responsibility of a black
Kids below 18 are not able to handle it. A black belt is not just about being an expert in
techniques, its much more than that"
All of them share the qualities that inevitably make a person, a champion - hard work,
perseverance and a belief that they can be the best. And from what they have achieved, it
certainly isn't an unfounded one.