'Grateful for all that hockey has offered', says Indian woman goalkeeper Madhuri Kindo

New Delhi, Jun 24 (IANS): Indian women's team goalkeeper Madhuri Kindo, who has been recently promoted from the junior team, credited the sport for giving her respect and a stable income source in life.

Madhuri belongs to a humble farming family from Birmitrapur, Odisha, an hour’s drive from the majestic Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium in Rourkela.

“In Birmitrapur we had two houses without a concrete roof and the only steady income in the family was that of my brother Manoj. He undertook all the expenses of building a new house for close to a year and after receiving the job offer from Western Railways, I could finally share the load with him. It was fulfilling to be able to help my brother through the sport that he introduced me to. I am grateful for all that hockey has offered to me in terms of income, respect in the community, and a sense of achievement,” Madhuri highlighted the significance of hockey in her life.

While her father Shankar Kindo tilled the fields, Madhuri was captivated by her brother Manoj Kindo’s hockey skills on the sidelines. Following in his footsteps, Madhuri picked up the hockey stick and joined the Panposh Sports Hostel in 2012. Madhuri initially joined as a defender but owing to her athletic prowess and quick reactions, she transitioned to become a goalkeeper.

After multiple outings in the National Championships from Odisha, Madhuri earned a call-up to the Indian junior team in 2021. Her heroics in the Junior Women’s Asia Cup 2023 in Japan, where the team clinched the gold medal, caught the eye of recruiters, prompting a job offer from Western Railways in Mumbai.

Apart from sealing a spot on the Railway Sports Promotion Board hockey team, Madhuri has also made the step up to the Indian team after an assessment camp in SAI Bengaluru in April this year. While she is yet to make her senior debut, Madhuri is relishing the opportunity to train alongside her idol, Savita.

“The difference between the Junior and Senior Teams is not that steep as I have seniors in the team, like Savita, Bichu Devi Kharibam, and Bansari Solanki to help me with my game. Watching them train intensely every day has helped me gain more knowledge of the game at the highest level. I have a lot of room for improvement and as I strive to make a place for myself in the squad, I am working on my weaknesses so that I can help the team win in the future. I am eager to play against the best teams around the world,” she signed off.



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Title: 'Grateful for all that hockey has offered', says Indian woman goalkeeper Madhuri Kindo

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