Meet the Sportswomen Who Will Represent India At Asia Rugby’s “Unstoppables” Campaign

World Rugby Sandhya Rai, Sumitra Nayak& Vahbiz Bharucha

Sandhya Rai, Sumitra Nayak& Vahbiz Bharucha are three ‘passionate & unstoppable’ women will represent India in the global World Rugby campaign titled ‘Unstoppables.’

The trio has made it to the list of top 32 Asian women rugby players who will participate. The World Rugby ‘Unstoppables’ campaign was originally launched and aimed at highlighting the inspirational stories of ‘Unstoppable’ women from around the world. Now Asia is doing its own campaign too.

Sandhya Rai

A twenty-year-old Bengal girl, daughter of tea estate labourers, Sandhya Rai has been labeled as India’s “Unstoppable” in the global campaign by rugby’s world governing body. She is one of the three women representing India in the Asia Rugby Unstoppables Campaign.  Rai joined her parents in their profession of plucking tea-leaves shortly after she completed her schooling. Perhaps, the game of rugby football plucked her out of the tea garden as life had much better plans for her. In a small village located between tall sal trees, a place where electricity bloomed recently and education after class 10 is rare, Rai found her future within the sport of rugby, far from her restrictions.

Sumitra Nayak

Born in Odisha’s Jajpur district, seventeen-year-old Sumitra Nayak has set a commendable journey for herself from Shanty Slums to turning into the queen of rugby. Nayak comes from a conservative village where girls were not allowed their freedom. Breaking all her barriers, Nayak played her first state match in 2012. Two years later, she participated in the U-13 Women’s Rugby World Cup, followed by the National Championship and the National School Games. She helped her team win a bronze medal in the Asian Girls Rugby Sevens (U-18) held in Dubai last year.

Vahbiz Bharucha

For Bharucha, sports began at home. Her grandfather was a boxer and an occasional wrestler whereas her father was a boxer in college and additionally played football and hockey. Bharucha first learned about rugby in 2006 during a summer camp at school. However, her first proper experience of playing the sport came about three years later in 2009. The 26-year-old rugby player was once dropped from the team in 2017 for failing fitness tests but she returned back and acquired the spot of captaincy with supreme domination. Bharucha is additionally a freelance physiotherapist.

The World Rugby ‘unstoppable’ campaign encourages unions and regions all over the world to identify and promote their own Unstoppables. Moreover, it not solely inspires girls and women across Asia and India to actively participate within the sport but additionally provides a platform to highlight the inspiring stories and notable achievements of women who embarked their names in the history of Indian sports despite their own odds.

Image Credits: Rugby India Facebook