Vogue India has chosen India’s hockey women as part of the magazine’s November issue featuring its women of the year 2020.
The squad, who have spent a large chunk of 2020 in lockdown at their Bengaluru camp, have seen their profile rise thanks to the launch of their #GIVE100FORCOVID which has raised over £20,000 for migrant workers.
“Each one of us in the team knows what it’s like to go hungry or not know when our next meal will be. We could feel their pain,” captain Rani Rampal, whose father was a cart puller, told the publication.
“As a team, we wanted to help them financially, but through a way that we know best.”
Most of the Indian women’s team hail from rural areas and were educated at non-English speaking schools.
During lockdown they took up English lessons online and their Dutch coach Sjoerd Marijne says the team now has a sense of togetherness as the second countdown to Tokyo 2020 approaches.
He said: “They’ve had a good break with their families and have come back more determined than ever. I see a huge change in each of their personalities since I took over as coach in 2017. They each have this sense of ownership now.”