Nikki Pradhan, is the first tribal girl from Jharkhand who become a member of the Indian women’s hockey team which will travel to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for the upcoming Olympic Games, she is the first female hockey player from the state to participate in the international sporting event.

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On Tuesday Hockey India announced the names of men and women team for the upcoming games.

The 23-years-old midfielder said, “It’s like dream come true for me” after she came to know that she had made the cut for Rio.

Starting her journey from Hesel village in Khunti district, Nikki started playing hockey when she was 13, but at that age, the sport was merely a means to pass time. Then, she got admission at the government girls high school, Bariatu, a residential hockey centre, run by the government. The Bariatu Hockey Centre is known as one of India’s best hockey coaching institutes for women,it has produced more than 100 international hockey players and it also helped Nikki to transform into the fine player that she is today.

Nikki, participated in the 2011 Asia Cup in the under-18 category and the 2012 Asia Cup in the under-21 category. Once she said, “I used to get inspiration from my senior colleagues and started dreaming to become a big hockey player”.

Impressed with her performances, south-eastern railway of Ranchi division offered her a job in 2013. Since then, she plays for the railways.

The women’s team has qualified for the Olympics after 36 years, after it played in the 1980 Games in Moscow, when women’s hockey had been introduced for the first time. The team will leave for Brazil on July 15 to prepare and train, before participating in the tournament starting from August 5.

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