New Delhi, November 15: 20 players from the National Core Group, including Vandana Katariya, Deep Grace Ekka, Sangita Kumari, and Monika, among others, will compete for their respective teams in the 3rd a Senior Women Inter-Department Hockey National Championship which will commence on Wednesday, 15th November, in New Delhi.
The tournament will feature eight teams divided into two pools, and it will run until 21st November. The top two teams from each pool will then advance to the Semi-Finals, which are scheduled for 20th November. The Final will take place on 21st November, along with the 3rd/4th place play-off.
Pool A includes the Railway Sports Promotion Board, Sports Authority of India, UCO Bank, and Union Bank of India. On the other hand, Pool B comprises Sashastra Seema Bal, All India Police Sports Control Board, Tamil Nadu Police, and Indian Oil Corporation.
The Railway Sports Promotion Board, the reigning Champions, will look to defend their title with Deep Grace Ekka, Vandana Katariya, Mariana Kujur, Rajani Etimarpu, Gurjit Kaur, Monika, Navneet Kaur, and Sangita Kumari leading the charge.
Bansari Solanki will represent Sports Authority of India, while Indian Oil Corporation will be represented by Akshata Abaso Dhekale, Mahima Chaudhary, Jyoti, Ajmina Kujur, Baljeet Kaur, Bichu Devi Kharibam, Deepika, Ishika Chaudhary, Sharmila Devi, Udita, and Vaishnavi Vitthal Phalke.
Deep Grace Ekka, the Vice-Captain of the Indian Team was of the view that this, “The tournament presents a wonderful opportunity to unearth new talent. It also provides youngsters with a chance to showcase their skills on a recognized platform while rubbing shoulders with experienced international players.”
Vandana Katariya, who became the first-ever women's hockey player from India to reach 300 caps during the Asian Champions Trophy said, "I believe that this will significantly contribute to raising the standards of domestic hockey and, in doing so, aid our national team in reaching new heights." She added, “We have seen more and more players rising through the ranks and this is pushing everyone to better themselves and play the best hockey they can.”