Playing hockey for India has given me everything, says Salima Tete

Salima Tet’s journey: Hockey India: In recent years, the Indian women’s hockey team has become one of the most memorable…

Salima Tet’s Journey: Hockey India:In recent years, the Indian women’s hockey team has become one of the most memorable chapters in the country’s sporting history. Often considered underdogs at the highest level, the Indian women’s hockey team has consistently punched above their weight division, giving fans plenty to cheer about. Follow hockey news updates with InsideSport.IN

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One of the youngest players in the Indian set-up, Salima Tete has been instrumental in the team’s success story over the last half-decade or so and surely, she hopes to be at the center of many more glory moments. Salima Tate looks back on her journey and more to be part of the bronze medal winning team at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Salima Tete’s journey: Playing hockey for India has given me everything, says Salima Tete

Salima, who is now back in her hometown of Simdega in Jharkhand after a long season, explained that ahead of the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, the team was focused on ensuring that they do not come back without a success story.
“After our poor campaign at the FIH Hockey Women’s World Cup Spain and Netherlands 2022, the team’s goals and our focus were very clear. We wanted to do well at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, there was no other option. We were sure that we had to get a medal before returning to India. Kuch na kuch karan hi hai,” said Salima.

Salima Tete's journey: Playing hockey for India has given me everything, says Salima Tete
Salima Tete’s journey: Playing hockey for India has given me everything, says Salima Tete

A formidable presence in the Indian defensive line-up, Salima believes the players’ meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is nothing short of an inspiration, and not just for someone like her.

“Meeting the Prime Minister was a big deal for someone like me. Meeting the Prime Minister is a source of motivation for all of us to work hard and try to achieve good results and it is also very encouraging for the young players coming through the system,” he said.
Winding back the clock a few years, Salima sheds some light on her journey, speaking fondly about the likes of Assunta Lakdra and Niki Pradhan, both of whom have been influential mentors in her career.

Salima Tete’s journey: Playing hockey for India has given me everything, says Salima Tete

“I came into hockey through the junior nationals and had my role model in Assunta Lakrate. I wanted to be like him, when I saw him play, I thought if he can do it, so can I. “Nicky Pradhan is a very important figure in my development and always has enough time for me,” said the Indian hockey player.

“My family is also very supportive and they don’t mind the difficulties, my family, my parents and siblings are very supportive. The vision for them is that we should do well no matter what, we want to be the best version of ourselves,” Salima muses.
Having learned to play the game on grass as a child, one of the biggest moments in Salma’s career was the 2021 Tokyo Olympic campaign, where India finished fourth. While this has done a lot for the athlete, Salima says it has ensured that her village has better training facilities and is no longer out of the spotlight.

“Before the Tokyo Olympics, no one knew about our village and after I came back, the attention towards our birthplace increased a lot. People come to us from different places, they recognize the village I come from. It is really heart warming. Even my family loves it when people come to visit. The whole atmosphere has changed and that makes me very happy,” Tate said.
“Playing for India really changed my life, it gave me everything I could have asked for. I just want to continue performing for the country and win more matches,” he added.

Follow hockey news updates with InsideSport.IN

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