Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday congratulated Odisha-based rugby player Sumitra Nayak for being selected to represent India at the Asia Rugby Unstoppable meet.
The other two female players to make the cut, as announced by Rugby India, are Sandhya Rai of West Bengal and Vahbiz of Maharashtra.
Congratulate Odisha’s rugby star Sumitra Nayak on being selected to represent #India at the @asiarugby #Unstoppable campaign. Wish @RugbyIndia all the best for it. #WomenInRugby https://t.co/fi98wUMbUT
— Naveen Patnaik (@Naveen_Odisha) September 20, 2020
Sumitra tasted her first international success at the Asia Women’s Rugby Championship in 2019. It was her final penalty kick against Singapore which helped the Indian women’s team to bag bronze medal at Manila.
A native of Jajpur district, Sumitra took to rugby after she got admitted to Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) in 2008. Guided by coach Rudrakesh Jena, Sumitra took rapid strides and represented Odisha in 2012.
She went on to participate in the National Championship, National School Games and Under-13 Women’s Rugby World Cup. She played a role in the Indian team’s bronze-winning effort in the Asian Girls Rugby Sevens (U-18) in Dubai in 2016. Two years later, she led the India Under-18 Indian women’s rugby team.
Sumitra was among 10 Indian youths to be nominated for International Children’s Peace Prize 2017.