Indian hockey teams celebrate Diversity and Inclusion Day at FIH
BENGALURU, June 24 (IANS) Marking Diversity and Inclusion Day, members of India’s men’s and women’s hockey teams have expressed their thoughts on #HockeyEquals.
Veteran campaigner BR Sreejesh, Khel Ratna Laureate, emphasized that sport has the power to unite people, saying, “The inclusion of the International Hockey Federation and Diversity Day highlights that we are #HockeyEquals. No matter your gender, ethnic background, physical or intellectual ability No matter your sexual orientation or age, hockey is equal for all and inclusion is a norm in the sport.”
Men’s team captain Harmanpreet Singh said, “We are a team full of players from different cultures, religions and spiritual beliefs but sport unites us. Diversity is wealth and we are proud to be part of a sport that provides equal opportunities for all.”
Padma Shri laureate Vandana Kataria, who has earned more than 250 caps for the Indian women’s hockey team, echoed the sentiments of her male counterparts. She said: “When I first started playing hockey, girls were never allowed to leave their house. As a girl, it wasn’t normal to play sports and wear shorts and go to practice every day. There was a sense of discrimination but over the years that has changed greatly and it’s great that you FIH through its Inclusion and Diversity Day educates people around the world about gender discrimination among other things.”
Putting her weight behind the initiative, Indian women’s team captain Savita said, “This is a great initiative of the International Fishing Federation. Sport unites the world and brings people together on one platform without any discrimination.”
“We are very proud to be part of a sport that is paving the way for the next generation to embrace this motto. We have had challenges to overcome stereotypes in our formative days, but I believe it will not be too difficult for future generations with Hockey India along with FIH to promote the right values.” Bronze Medal at Birmingham Commonwealth Games.