It was with intent of joining Hockey that Priyanka walked into Dr.MGR Janaki College of Arts and Science, Chennai. Upon advice from coach, the teenager ended up enrolling for handball. She now feels it is one of the best decisions she has made but still dabbles her way playing in the hockey tournament. Priyanka is a very determined, motivated person, who is looking forward to the season, which is a new chapter in her handball career.

Excerpts

First of all, tell us a little more about yourself, how old are you, whereabouts do you live, and what you do outside of handball?

I am 21 years old and I live near Mandaveli. At a very young age, I was interested in sports.  Then at one point, I realized that hockey was my passion and I started taking an active interest in following and playing hockey.

It is interesting to know that hockey has been your first love, you really wanted to succeed in the sport, but switching to handball are some huge transitions! How did you find moving from one sport to the other? What inspired you to keep playing both the sport?

Yes, hockey is my one and only love, and hockey is the sport that I have achieved a lot in yet. I had to switch to handball as my college did not have a hockey team. I was extremely passionate about sports and so my ma’am suggested me to try out handball, and I feel it is one of the best decisions I have made but I still go for individual selection tournaments for hockey.

Was your family supportive of your decision to take up sports?

My family has stood by me in all the decisions I have made and have always encouraged me to pursue my dreams.

What was the women’s handball/hockey scene like when you first started playing and did you face any adversity growing up as a girl wanting to play sports?

I initially started hockey in my 6th standard, I could not make it into the main team then as there were a lot of senior players, I felt very bad and it was one of the incidents that discouraged me and made me question myself worth and my capabilities.

As a young player with an interest in hockey/handball/athletics as well, your role models and idols must have been very different. Who were your biggest influences at that time?

Though there are a lot of experts and legends in each sport, the one person who I’ve always looked upon is my PT teacher, she has made a huge impact on my sporting career and has been my biggest source of inspiration.

What have been your school/college sports and what accomplishments have you and your team had over the years?

In my school from 7th standard to 10th,  I made it to the nationals 4 times and I would consider my college days as the golden era of my sporting career as we won a lot of tournaments and made a lot of remarkable performances and I was selected to represent the University of  Madras team.

Is there any particular memories from your sporting career so far that stand out as being special to you?

I can’t think of anybody as privileged as me to have represented the nationals at such a young age. I was the youngest player in the team, my principal appreciated me for it and I felt extremely proud of myself.

Which college is your biggest rival team and do you have any memorable match/moment against them? If yes, explain.

WCC College team is our biggest rival. In my first year, we played a match against them, our scores were held at 8-7 and it was at the last minute that we scored a goal and we won the match by a lead of 2 goals. It is one of the most memorable matches I have played.

What are a few goals that the team has set this year? What about personal goals you hope to achieve in the long-term?

I have the eligibilities to make it to a government job, I want to prolong in sports and reach higher levels of the game.

 

Rapid-fire questions

What’s the song you listen to nowadays mostly? Believer by Imagine Dragons

Favorite sports movie: Ethiral Neechal (2013), Kanaa (2018)

 


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