Sweety Kumari loved her first spikes gifted by an athletics coach in Patna because she felt like she was flying on the cinder track, just skimming the ground. Moving to rugby thereafter, where she’s emerged as India’s explosive speedy wing, the 19-year-old loved watching defenders fly — and fall in vain around her, as her blitzing runs eluded their pursuing dives. Over the last few days, Sweety says she’s flying a little above ground, excited about being picked as the “international young player of the year” by reputed women’s rugby website Scrumqueens.
The year-end poll, a mix of 10 shortlisted nominations from across the world followed by a public poll, picked the Indian, who was earlier declared by Asia Rugby as the “continent’s fastest player”. Hailing from Nawada village in Barh tehsil of Patna, where she first ran the 100m dash in 11.58 seconds, Sweety channelled her pace into rugby, where she is nicknamed India’s “Scoring Machine” by teammates.
The fifth among seven children, Sweety followed an older brother into athletics, and ran sprints for her government school, district and state.
A rugby coach pointed her towards what was an unfamiliar sport, but she picked the rules quickly.
Her father worked as a handyman, and her mother was an anganwadi worker.
Read more of this story of achievement in a report by Shivani Naik, published in The Indian Express... (Link given below)