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Resounding Applause For Sjoerd Marijne, Coach Behind Indian Women Hockey’s Olympic Show

who is Sjoerd Marijne
As the Indian women’s hockey team makes its way into history for securing the first-ever semifinals entry at the Olympics, one question peppers the national celebration: who is Sjoerd Marijne?

He is the name instrumental in coaching the women in blue towards their groundbreaking feat on Monday in Tokyo. After the Indian women’s team lost the match for Olympic bronze on August 8, the coach said that the team has won something bigger than a medal. They made Indians proud.

During a virtual press conference, Marijne revealed that the Tokyo Olympics 2020 was his last assignment with the women’s hockey team and he will now resign from his post. As per reports, he was offered an extension of his tenure by the Indian Hockey Federation but he refused.

For his relentless belief in the power of a syncretic team constituting women from across India, his determination towards their success, and the obvious, pleasant coincidences between the real hockey quarterfinals and reel finals in Chak De! India (both against Australia), coach Marijne fits the description of a ‘Dutch Kabir Khan.’

From shaping our national women’s hockey team’s skill for the world stage to inspiring confidence by cheering for them from the stands, Marijne’s contribution in recent years to re-elevating and reaffirming the high status of hockey as the unofficial national game of India is magnificent.

Why Who Is Sjoerd Marijne Matters To Indian Women’s Hockey

A former field hockey player from the Netherlands who played for Den Bosch club in his home country, Marjine has shifted full attention to the team he has been assigned to coach, by standing rock-solid by our women’s hockey champs through tournaments and world cups.

Last year, for instance, Marijne – though he had the opportunity – reportedly did not fly back home from Bengaluru during the coronavirus lockdown, instead choosing to stay back with the team on the Sports Authority of India’s (SAI’s) premises. Authorities relayed that the coach could have availed permission to leave during the Netherlands’ evacuation exercise, but he stuck to his priorities.

Marijne comes through as a star after Indian women’s hockey makes history

Marijne’s euphoric tweet from Tokyo – “Sorry family, I coming again later” – has gone viral, as have his various moving reactions to the women’s team’s win for the semifinals entry.

“Ex-coach Kabir Khan” too has joined in cheers for Marijne and the women’s hockey champs. Actor Shah Rukh Khan responding to Marijne’s viral tweet writes, “Haan haan no problem. Just bring some Gold on your way back….for a billion family members.”

“The real coach” reverted:

A video of Marijne in tears and brimming with emotion at the historic achievement by the women in blue aptly captures the sentiment of an entire nation that is hoping for a hockey medal after decades. “…this moment is also yours,” the Dutch coach tells India.