Indian Junior Women's Hockey team's Ishika Chaudhary has been awarded the Eklavya Award by the Madhya Pradesh government. Speaking to ANI, she said that this is the 'first award' of her career.
"My biggest tournament was the Youth Olympics. In 2018, I played from the junior team. I am feeling that the journey has reached this place where I am getting the award. This is the first award of my life. I want to give credit to my coaches Paramjeet Singh and Vanda ma'am and sports minister Yashodhara Raje," she said.
The 20-year-old's father is a government teacher. Chaudhary started playing the sport at the age of 11 in 2011 and graduated from the Madhya Pradesh Hockey Academy.
In 2013, she made it to Madhya Pradesh Hockey Academy's Junior team which took part in the third Hockey India Junior National Championship held in Ranchi.
Later, she became an integral part of the Junior and Sub-Junior teams, and win the Gold Medal at the fourth Hockey India Sub-Junior National Championship 2014 in Pune, Bronze Medal at the sixth Hockey India Sub-Junior National Championship 2016 in Rohtak.
In 2016, the young midfielder was selected to be a part of the Madhya Pradesh Hockey Academy's Senior team which ended up winning the Bronze Medal at the sixth Hockey India Senior National Championship held in Bengaluru.
Later, she received a call-up to the Junior National Camp, and the youngster hasn't looked back ever since. She was a Silver Medalist at the third Youth Olympic Games 2018.
Today, the country is celebrating the National Sports Day to commemorate the birth anniversary of hockey wizard Dhyan Chand. The legendary hockey player Dhyan Chand was born in 1905 and was known for his magical hockey skills.
He was part of the Indian hockey team which struck gold in the Olympics of 1928, 1932, and, 1936.
National Sports Awards which include the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, the Arjuna award, the Dronacharya award, and the Dhyan Chand award, are conferred on athletes every year by the President of India at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on August 29, the National Sports Day.