Hockey India recently conducted a string of National Championships at the world-class Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium, the stadium which hosted players from all around the world earlier this year during the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar – Rourkela 2023.
The recently concluded 13th Hockey India Junior Women National Championship 2023 was one of the four National Championships held at the venue, where Indian Junior Women’s Hockey Team forward Bhumiksha Sahu played for Hockey Madhya Pradesh and brought home the Gold medal.
The 18-year-old ran out of superlatives while recounting her experience at the 13th Hockey India Junior Women National Championship 2023, the Hockey India sources on Monday said.
“It was my first time seeing such a beautiful stadium, I had goosebumps when I walked onto the pitch for the first time. I can’t even imagine what it would’ve felt like when the stadium was filled to the brim with supporters at the World Cup,” she said.
Bhumiksha Sahu was the leading goal scorer of the 13th Hockey India Junior Women National Championship 2023. She scored 9 field goals and converted 9 penalty corners to put up a whopping total of 18 goals for Hockey Madhya Pradesh.
“The whole team played as a unit this time and the only reason I could score so many goals was because the team worked hard and created chances for me to score. The team pulled together and enjoyed playing at the Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium. I feel playing in Rourkela was a good stepping stone for international matches and I will have more self-belief while facing international teams,” Bhumiksha commented.
Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium also hosted the 13th Hockey India Junior Men National Championship 2023 where Surinder Singh was the top goal scorer with 11 goals for Hockey Chandigarh.
Surinder commented on the world-class Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium, saying, “The first step was playing National Championships at international standards, now we have also played in a stunning international stadium, all that is left to do is use these facilities and perform at the level of international players.”
Hockey Chandigarh lost 2-4 to Hockey Madhya Pradesh in the final of the 13th Hockey India Junior Men National Championship 2023. Surinder scored in the 31st minute to level the game at 2-2, but it was not enough to spark a comeback, and Hockey Chandigarh took home a Silver medal.
“We now know what it feels like to play in a stadium where the best of the world come to play and this will help prepare the players for when they make the jump to play for India. I, for one, feel I would be much less nervous if I’m put in front of a huge crowd now,” he concluded.