Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], May 11 (ANI): Indian women's hockey team forward Udita said that she idolises skipper Rani Rampal and experienced striker Vandana Katariya and wishes to become like them one day.
"It has been a wonderful journey with the Indian team. I idolise Rani and Vandana, and I have learned a lot from them. They are very experienced players and have always supported me during my time with the team. I am very lucky to have seniors like them. I keep a close eye on how they practice and strategize before matches. I wish I can become like them someday," Udita said in a statement.
She is utilising the lockdown time to look back at her career so far and keeping herself busy by doing various indoor fitness exercises at the Sports Authority of India campus in Bengaluru.
Life hasn't been easy for the forward from Haryana. She lost her father at a very young age in 2015 and since then her mother has been the biggest support in her life. As the country celebrated Mother's Day on Sunday, 10 May, she thanked her mother for always being there for her.
"My mother is very special in my life. After I lost my father in 2015, my mother has been a big support for all of us (we are three siblings). Our mother took our father's place and was always there for us. I am in the Indian Women's Hockey Team only because of her. She is my friend as well. I have no words to describe how special my mother is for me. So on this Mother's Day, I would like to thank her for always being there for me," said Udita.
The 22-year-old stumbled upon hockey by sheer chance. She used to play handball in her school and enjoyed playing the sport. However, there was a phase when her handball coach wasn't available for three days in a row. It was then Udita decided to ask her mother if she could take up hockey. And once she learned the sport, she kept moving from one level to the other.
"It's amazing where life takes you sometimes. My handball Coach didn't turn up for three days and then I made the switch to hockey in school. I took to hockey immediately and I understood that I can be good at this sport. I think the U-18 Asia Cup in 2016 was a big turning point for me. I was the Captain of the Indian team and we won a Bronze Medal in the tournament. My performances were recognized in the competition and eventually, I made my way to the senior Indian team," the striker said.
"Being part of the squad for the Women's World Cup London 2018 was a special feeling, but I have missed out on some big tournaments. I am watching a lot of footage of my previous games during the lockdown period and noting down some key things that I need to improve once we get back on the pitch. Hopefully, I will improve my skills quickly and become a much better player," she added. (ANI)