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Hockey India announces inaugural National Women's Hockey League

02:15 AM Apr 10, 2024 IST | IANS
hockey india announces inaugural national women s hockey league
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New Delhi, Apr 9:  Hockey India on Tuesday unveiled a new initiative, the National Women's Hockey League 2024–25 -- the first domestic hockey league for women in India -- which is structured into two phases, with the inaugural phase set to take place in Ranchi, Jharkhand, from April 30 to May 9.

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All matches during this phase will be hosted at the Marang Gomke Jaipal Singh Astroturf Hockey Stadium where the recent FIH Olympic Qualifiers and the Women's Asian Champions Trophy were held.

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The National Women's Hockey League, which promises an exhilarating showcase of talent and skills, aims to provide a platform for emerging athletes and elevate the stature of women's hockey in the country. The league will witness fierce competition among the top state teams that finished in the top eight at the marquee 14th Hockey India Senior Women's National Championships.

Following the conclusion of the 14th Hockey India Senior Women's National Championship, Hockey Haryana, Hockey Maharashtra, Hockey Jharkhand, Hockey Madhya Pradesh, Hockey Bengal, Hockey Mizoram, Manipur Hockey, and Hockey Association of Odisha qualified as the eight state teams.

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Notably, the league will also open its doors to young talent, with players under the age of 21 eligible to participate. This inclusion of youth players underscores Hockey India's dedication to nurturing talent and fostering development at the grassroots level, Hockey India informed in a release on Tuesday.

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The National Women's Hockey League holds immense promise not only in elevating the standard of women’s hockey but also in inspiring the next generation of athletes across the nation. Through this initiative, Hockey India reaffirms its commitment to promoting gender equality in sports and creating pathways for women to excel in hockey.

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Furthermore, the National Women's Hockey League will serve as a vital scouting platform for the national team, providing selectors with the opportunity to identify and nurture talent for future international competitions.

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Hockey India President Dr Dilip Tirkey expressed his enthusiasm for the league. "The National Women's Hockey League marks a watershed moment for Indian hockey, particularly for our women athletes. This league is a testament to our unwavering commitment to women's sports and will serve as a catalyst for the growth and development of women’s hockey in the country."

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