Who is Nisha Gurung? The 23-year-old Nisha Gurung is a former hockey player from Darjeeling, who in 2019 coached the Darjeeling district men’s team for the State Hockey Championships held in Calcutta. Recently, she was awarded the Outstanding Youth Award for her achievements and contribution to the sport by the Rotary Club of Darjeeling (RCD).
Hailing from Ging tea garden in Darjeeling, Gurung is one of those few women hockey players who are coaching a men’s hockey team in India and across the world. It is indeed very rare to come across a woman coaching a men’s team and not just in India. According to a survey conducted by the US-based Women’s Sports Foundation in 2016, in college sports, only three percent of the men’s team have women as coaches. In startling contrast to women’s team where 57 percent are coached by men.
Gurung in an interview said that when her teachers in Nepali Girls Higher Secondary School, asked her if she would like to play hockey, she said yes. There began Gurung’s journey as a hockey player.
Here are a few of her career highlights:
- From 2010, she started representing Bengal and was the vice-captain of the state team at the Sub-Junior Girls National Hockey Championship held in Patna.
- Gurung represented West Bengal in the senior category.
- In 2013, her team came third at the Senior National Hockey Championship.
- In 2018, she coached the boy’s hockey team at Darjeeling Children House of Montessori.
- Next year, she was asked to coach the district’s all men’s hockey team. She confessed even though it was difficult to make boys listen to her, it improved with time.
- In 2020, Gurung was made the Secretary of Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Hockey Association.
- She now wants to finish her degree from the Netaji Subash National Institute of School, where she has been selected for a course to be a technical official.
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