Mix of youth and experience will help team at Olympics: Deep Grace Ekka

New Delhi, Oct 15 (UNI) Defender Deep Grace Ekka on Thursday said the Indian women’s hockey team’s defense line has a fantastic balance of youth and experienced players which will certainly help the national side at the Tokyo Olympics.

Indian team has performed well in top tournaments recently, winning a silver medal at the 2018 Asian Games and qualifying for the Olympics.
Ekka said the experienced players are working with the young ones to further strengthen the team’s defence.

‘It’s great to have a great balance of youth and experienced players in our defence line. We are guiding the youngsters to get even better at their game and I am sure after a few months we will get even better as a defense unit,’ the senior defender said.

‘Having a great defense line always helps any team and if we are rock solid then it will be a huge benefit for the Indian team, especially in big tournaments like the Olympics,’ she added.

It’s been a difficult time for the entire world in the last few months because of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the Indian women’s team has been working towards their goal of winning an Olympic Medal in whichever way they can.

Ekka expressed that it has been her responsibility to ensure that the youngsters in the team remained motivated during this tough period.

‘As a senior player in the team, I had to make sure that the youngsters are not too impacted and remain positive during this period. It’s easy for negativity to set in during this time, but our group has done well to take each day as it comes,’ she said.

‘It’s my duty to ensure that the youngsters remain motivated and they have done a great job. All of us focused on our fitness while we were away from the pitch and now, we are relishing our sports activities on the pitch,’ she added.

The 26-year-old defender from Odisha said that the national side has been able to cope with this period by concentrating on fitness.

‘We had enough facilities at our disposal for our fitness training during the lockdown and now, we are able to practice for the Olympics only because of the efforts put in by Hockey India and SAI,’ Ekka said.


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