After representing India at the Asia Challenge Cup Ice Hockey Tournament, the Indian women’s ice hockey team returned to their base in Leh today. And the people of Leh gave them a rousing welcome as the team has represented India internationally in such a niche sport.
The Hill Council Chairman, councillors, religious heads, women’s organizations and relatives and well-wishers of the players assembled at the KBR Airport to greet the players with Khataks, a kind of ceremonial scarf.
The women’s team competed in the tournament that was organised in Bangkok and won two matches out of six. Though the team achieved fourth place in the finals, it was significant enough for them to make a mark in the sport.
The UAE, Philippines, Malaysia, New Zealand, Thailand, Singapore and India are the seven countries which participated in the tournament. And the Indian team was successful in beating Malaysia and Philippines. Indian player Tsewang Chuskit from Tangtse village won the title of the most valuable player of the tournament and Diskit Chonzom Angmo was awarded as best player of the Indian team.
Speaking to the media, LAHDC Chief Executive Councillor, Dr Sonam Dawa, praised the team. He said that the Indian team had reached the international platform without much support and bagged the fourth rank. He also promised Hill Council his support in providing these young girls with better support in the future for them to represent India more and train better.
Dawa also assured that he will try to complete the Ice hockey rink on time so the players can practise in a better way. He has also taken up the matter with the central government so these women can have better amenities.
Executive Councillor Tsering Wangdus, nominated Councillor Sonam Chospel, Tangtse Councillors Tashi Namgyal and other prominent people were also present to receive the players.
Ladakh Buddhist Association President Tsewang Dolma, Anjuman Moin-Ul-Islam President Asha Malo and Women Alliance Ladakh President Morup Dolma also came to receive the female players.
Team Captain Rinchen Dolma who reached Leh after a long journey said that this time they are more satisfied with their performance and that the J&K State Sports Council had sanctioned them Rs 7 lakh financial assistance to complete the Ice Hockey Rink in Leh and expects a better performance in the future.
These women were initially playing for different groups in Leh but they realised that an umbrella fraternity is essential to promote women’s empowerment in sports and so they formed Ladakh Women’s Ice Hockey Foundation (LWIHF) in 2015.
Picture credit- Milaap