Lucknow:The story of young Mumtaz Khan, who plays as a Forward for the Indian Junior Women's Hockey Team, is one of hardships, grit, determination and great potential.
The 17-year-old who hails from Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, happened to choose hockey only by coincidence, but has become one of the brightest prospects for the country after putting in impressive performances in the last couple of years.
Speaking from her home, Mumtaz reminisced her early days. "I believe it was in the year 2011 that I was spotted at one of the races I was participating in for my school. It was Neelam Siddiqui who was present on the occasion and told my father that he should put me into the sport of hockey.
I didn't really know much about the sport back then because I was so young, but as I started watching and playing it, I started developing a real interest," said the teenager who was eventually enrolled into the Lucknow hostel in 2014 and started training under Siddiqui.
"I feel it was just a coincidence that coach (Siddiqui) found me there in Agra, and the rest that has followed has been due to the hard work that I have put in," she added.
Mumtaz, whose father and mother work as vegetable vendors in Lucknow, has many goals in mind and one of them is to help her family. "I do come from a very humble background so one of the factors in me playing hockey was that I might be able to help my parents. I have been fortunate enough to have represented the Indian Junior Women's Team and have always aimed at giving my all on the pitch, and I am hoping that it can translate into a bright future for us off the field," expressed the 17-year-old.(UNI)