Rani Rampal eager to make 2020 a ‘great year’

Indian hockey women’s team captain dedicates the World Games Athlete of the Year award to the entire hockey fraternity.

By Olympic Channel Writer ·

A day after being named the World Games Athlete of the Year, Indian hockey women’s team captain Rani Rampal chose to dedicate the award to the entire hockey fraternity. The skipper, who is in New Zealand with the national team on an exposure tour insisted that the success wouldn’t be possible without the love and support of all the stakeholders that run the game in the country.

“I dedicate this award to the entire hockey fraternity, my team and my country. This success has only become possible with the love and support from hockey lovers, fans, my team, coaches, Hockey India, my government, friends from Bollywood, fellow sportspersons and my countrymen who have continuously voted for me,” she told the Press Trust of India.

Rani Rampal was chosen as the winner following an online poll. The Indian hockey women's team captain was fighting for the award with 25 other athletes from various sports who were recommended by their respective international federations. The nominee list included the likes of the Brazilian beach handball team, sport climber Janja Garnbret of Slovenia and Colombian archer Sara Lopez among others.

The 25-year-old Rani Rampal also took the opportunity to thank the International Hockey Federation (FIH) for nominating her for the award. “Special thanks to the FIH for nominating me for this prestigious award. Thank you to The World Games Federation for this recognition,” she said.

“It is my privilege and honour to win this award. It is always nice when your country recognises your effort. It is even better when the international sports community recognises it. Thank you so much to everyone who voted for me.”

Having enjoyed a fine season in 2019 that saw the Indian hockey women’s team qualify for second consecutive Olympics, Indian captain Rani Rampal was eager to make 2020 a ‘great year’. 

“2019 was a great year for our team because we qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. As a team, we want to make 2020 a great year,” she said.