26 August 2019
Bhubaneswar: The Rugby U20 Team India, which has five Odia girls, won a bronze medal at the Asia Rugby U-20 Women Seven Series in Vientiane, Laos.
The team lead by 19-year-old Odia tribal girl Sumitra Nayak beat Singapore 26-12. Apart from Sumitra, four other Odia girls were also part of the team- Ranjani Sabar, Soni Mandangi, Parbati Kisku, Lija Sardar.
The girls brought glory to the State by their stellar performances in the two-day championship. Parbati spearheaded India’s victory against Singapore on the first day. Captain Sumitra led from the front and set an example for other members of her team.
Sumitra comes from an extremely impoverished background and an abusive home. Her revival and her success is an example for youths of the State. Called ‘Rugby Rani’, she has stayed true to the nickname assigned to her.
The team had been trained for three weeks at the Indian National Training Camp held in Bhubaneswar which was fully supported by State Sports and Youth Services Department. After a successful camp, the team left for Asia Rugby U-20 Women Seven Series with Hong Kong clinching the title.