From Playground to Potential: Priyanka Dang's Hockey Journey

Priyanka Dang, a young tribal girl with a burning passion for hockey, began her journey on the school grounds at a young age. During breaks and after school, she’d hone her skills with friends, catching the watchful eye of the school headmaster. Recognizing her talent, he guided her towards the Hockey Grassroot Centre in Jaldega. 

This center, a turning point in Priyanka’s life, provided her first experience under the watchful eye of a dedicated coach. Here, she diligently trained in the fundamentals of the game, building a strong foundation. However, the pandemic forced a temporary halt, disrupting her training for nearly six months. 

But Priyanka’s spirit remained undimmed. Her trainers, demonstrating remarkable dedication, devised a solution. They connected with her and her parents, sending daily tasks for her to practice and record. For three months, she trained online, followed by practicing with friends on the village ground. 

In June 2021, her unwavering dedication paid off. She aced the trials for Simdega RDC, earning a chance to train on an artificial turf with professional equipment every weekend. This marked a significant leap forward, as her coach, Suraj Kerketta, observed: “Priyanka has natural talent, but her extra effort to learn has accelerated her development as a player.” 

After a year of rigorous training, Priyanka set her sights on the state level. Competing against 140 hopefuls, she stood out, securing a coveted spot amongst the chosen seven. Now enrolled at SAI Ranchi, her sights are firmly set on the national stage. 

"Priyanka has natural talent for hockey, she puts extra efforts to learn the skills of the game, because of this her development as a player has progressed rapidly."

– Suraj Kerketta, Priyanka’s coach at RDC

started playing at school
joined grassroots training
got selected for district level
got selected for RDC & SAW Ranchi

Priyanka’s story exemplifies CInI’s commitment to nurturing talent from the grassroots level, empowering young athletes like her to pursue their sporting aspirations.