From Backyard Stick to National Glory: Duga Munda's Hockey Journey

Khunti, Jharkhand: The year is 2021. The final whistle blows in the Sub Junior National Championship, leaving the score locked at 0-0. All eyes are on Duga Munda, the unassuming Jharkhand goalie. He dives, deflects, and denies – every single shot aimed his way. The crowd erupts – Jharkhand is champion, and Duga, the hero.

But this victory was not just about one match. It was the culmination of a grueling journey, fueled by passion and resilience. Hailing from a remote village, Duga’s love for hockey bloomed early. He juggled school with training sessions, often cycling 15km after classes. When finances tightened, he even resorted to cutting wood to pay rent.

Yet, his spirit remained undimmed. He networked, practiced relentlessly, and impressed coaches. His talent earned him a spot at the prestigious Eklavya Hockey Academy, followed by the Jharkhand state team.

Today, as he stands on the cusp of national glory, Duga’s story is an inspiration not just for aspiring hockey players, but for anyone chasing a dream. For Duga, the journey has just begun. The national stage awaits, and with every save, he carries not just the hopes of his team, but the dreams of countless youngsters who see in him a reflection of their own aspirations.

“RDC has given me strength and confidence to grow; to aspire bigger. It has helped me build a solid foundation.” Duga Munda

Duga’s story is one of countless nurtured by CInI’s Regional Development Center (RDC) program. Launched in 2016, RDC provides a platform for rural talents, equipping them with training, exposure, and guidance. It’s a launchpad for dreams, proving that even a backyard stick can lead to national glory.

Key Takeaways:

  • RDC empowers local talents, inspiring others to pursue hockey professionally.
  • National tournaments foster connections, exposure, and understanding of the diverse hockey world.
  • RDCs build a passionate community, nurturing future stars who contribute to the sport.
  • Duga Munda is a testament to the power of dreams and dedication. His journey, fueled by CInI’s support, inspires countless others to chase their own hockey dreams.