Under-18 Girls Rugby Team: The Government of Odisha felicitated the Indian U18 Girls’ Rugby Team for winning a silver medal at Asia Rugby U18 Girls Sevens Championships, 2021, which was held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
The Government of Odisha, Rugby India and supporting partner Blade Urban Air Mobility (India) announced a cash reward between four and five lakh rupees to the team and the coaches.
The felicitation ceremony was held at the Odisha State Convention Centre at Lok Seva Bhavan in Bhubaneshwar. Dignitaries like the State Sports Minister Tusharkanti Behera, MP Achyuta Samanta, President of Odisha Rugby Football Association Priyadarshi Mishra, attended the ceremony, reports ANI.
Behara also posted a congratulatory tweet, “Under the abled leadership of Hon’ble CM Sri Naveen Patnaik, Odisha has always emphasised the advancement of sports. Felicitated the Indian U18 Girls of Rugby Team for their spectacular performance with Silver in the Asian Rugby U18 #Rugby7s Championship at Tashkent.”
Chief Minister of Odisha, Naveen Patnaik too applauded the performance of the girls in a video message. “We are very proud of your achievement. You have shown great speed, skill and fierce determination,” he said, adding that he was sure this was the start of their journey. “In the coming years, you will all make history. Odisha will continue to partner with Rugby India and support this endeavour. All the best!”
On September 19, 2021, the team won a silver medal at the Championship, losing 21-17 to the United Arab Emirates in the two-day tournament held at Tashkent. In the final, Nandini scored seven points while Aditi Kumari and Tarulata Nair contributed five points each. The team had reached the final by beating Kazakhastan 24-7 in the semifinal.
The team included three players from Odisha- Tarulata Naik, Mama Naik and Nirmalya Rout, and was coached by Hendrik ‘Naas’ Botha (four times World Rugby Player of the year from South Africa), Ludwiche Van Deventer (Rugby Sevens Specialist) and Vahbiz Bharucha (mentor and official physiotherapist for the team).
Feature image credit: ANI