A small town girl from Ranjnandgaon of Chhattisgarh has come a long way from selling milk door-to-door on her bicycle, to being one of the 16-member women’s hockey squad for the Rio Olympics.
The girl, Renuka Yadav (now 22), whose parents worked as domestic helps in people’s homes, has been aiming for this feat since childhood. She says that she had to face difficult times earning a livelihood while belonging to a lower middle class family and, it had not been easy to be selected in the women’s hockey squad. Renuka plays as a midfielder and full back in the women’s national hockey team. Her strong determination, and sheer hard work is inspiring.
The women’s national hockey team has got the opportunity to be at the Olympics after a long gap of 36 years, and she feels blessed and fortunate to be the first ever woman Olympian of state Chhattisgarh. Renuka has been playing hockey since childhood with Bhushan Sao being her first coach.
According to Sao, a school-level hockey coach, Renuka first started playing hockey when she was in 7th grade. She got selected in the Girls Hockey Academy in her 10th grade, at Gwalior. She has always been an ardent learner and a hard worker.