Aizawl: Hockey star Lalremsiami of Mizoram has been named as the 2019 FIH Women’s Rising Star of the Year by the International Hockey Federation (FIH).
The 19-year-old Team India striker came ahead of Argentina’s Julieta Jankunas and Frederique Matla of the Netherlands, who finished second and third, respectively.
Lalremsiami started gaining popularity at the 2018 Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup. She has been the top scorer when they played a test series against Korea in 2017 and against Spain in 2019.
At the Ready Steady Tokyo event, which took place in August 2019, Lalremsiami scored the winning goal in the final against Japan.
In 2019, while she was playing at the FIH Series Finals in Hiroshima to qualify for the Olympics Games Tokyo 2020, Lalremsiami’s father died. But this did not deter her from playing and instead helped her team get through to qualify for the Olympics.
She later said, “I wanted to make my father proud. I wanted to stay, play and make sure India qualified.”
There was immense pride among the Mizos for her dedication towards the game. When she reached her hometown Kolasib after the game, a huge crowd gathered at her home to felicitate her.
Lalremsiami’s achievements are remarkable. She comes from a small town called Kolasib in Mizoram. As a teenager, Lalremsiami left home to join the hockey academy at Thenzawl- 150 kilometres from her home.
On the Olympic Channel, Lalremsiami said, “Hockey isn’t very famous in my village and very few people played the sport. However, I was always interested in playing hockey so I had to move to Thenzawl, which was very far from my village so I had to move into their hostel in my early teenage years. Initially, there weren’t the best of facilities there, we did not have a [artificial] turf ground so we used to play on grass.”