India: From Dreams to Reality: Sanjana Horo charting her own path on hockey field

~The forward scored 13 goals during the 14th Hockey India Senior Women National Championship 2024~

New Delhi, 25th March, 2024: During the recently concluded 14th Hockey India Senior Women National Championship 2024, Hockey Bengal’s 19-year-old forward Sanjana Horo emerged as the second-highest goalscorer in the tournament, behind Deepika from Haryana. Sanjana finished the tournament with 13 goals to her name before her team was knocked out by Hockey Madhya Pradesh in the Quarter-Finals.

Sanjana Horo is a vital cog in the Hockey Bengal team’s forward line – her eye-popping stick work, clinical finishing and proficiency in finding the back of the net are a treat to watch. The 19-year-old, who hails from Jharkhand, has indeed come a long way when it comes to hockey.

Born and raised in Jharkhand, Sanjana was introduced to the sport of hockey at the tender age of nine. Surrounded by the hilly landscapes of her homeland, Sanjana found solace and passion in the rhythmic flow of the game. Fuelled by determination and guided by unwavering support from her family members, she honed her skills on rugged grounds.

Recalling her early days, she said, “I used to see kids playing hockey outside of my school. I was in Class 6 at that time. At first, it was not something which attracted me. But once my elder brother started playing, my father, who himself played hockey, told me to give it a try and there was no looking back after that. Slowly and steadily, my game started to improve. In 2014, I gave trials for Ranchi Zilla and got selected. I was there for 2 years. After that, I gave trials for SAI Ranchi and got selected. I stayed there for a year but due to unavailability of grounds there, some of us were transferred to Bengal SAI.”

Sanjana burst onto the scene after her impressive outing at the 13th Hockey India Junior Women National Championship 2023, held at the Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium in Rourkela, Odisha. Sanjana, who captained the Hockey Bengal team, scored 11 goals in the tournament, which included seven field goals and four from penalty corners.

During the 14th Hockey India Senior Women National Championship 2024, Sanjana emerged as a beacon of excellence. With lightning speed and precision, she carved her path through defenders, leaving everyone awestruck. As the second-highest goal scorer of the tournament, she etched her name in the books, a testament to her unwavering determination and skill.

Speaking about her experience of playing in the 14th Hockey India Senior Women National Championship 2024, the forward said, “It was an amazing experience. Playing with all the senior players like Savita, Salima, and Sangita, one can learn a lot. You can learn a lot from just observing their game. Their style of playing, mental strength and game tactics are at par.”

The 19-year-old considers Senior Indian forward player Salima Tete as her role model. During the 14th Hockey India Senior Women National Championship 2024, the teenager got an opportunity to interact with her. Expressing her delight, Sanjana shared, “I have always considered Salima didi as my role model. I want to be like her. I am impressed with her dribbling skills, speed, and her finishing skills. I want to imbibe these qualities. I talked to her about my game and where I could improve. She gave me some valuable feedback and I will surely work on that.”

Despite her meteoric rise, Sanjana has faced her share of challenges along the way. Talking about the struggles, she said, “When I started playing hockey, the price of hockey sticks was expensive. I used to play with wooden hockey sticks which my father used to buy for me. Since the condition of the ground was poor, the wooden hockey sticks used to get damaged pretty fast. I used to change my stick after every three months. My father was in the Army but he is retired now. So, there were financial issues at times but my family always supported me and I give all the credit to my family members for making me who I am today.”

As Sanjana stands on the cusp of a promising future, she harbours dreams of representing India on the international stage and inspiring future generations of young hockey enthusiasts. “It is a player’s dream to represent their country at the highest level. I want to don the Indian jersey and bring laurels and accolades for India,” she signed off.

By Hockey India

Like this article?

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Linkdin
Share on Pinterest

Leave a comment

SanFair Newsletter

The latest on what’s moving world – delivered straight to your inbox
Verified by MonsterInsights