Pune: The Odisha U18 girls were anointed Champions at the recently concluded Junior National Rugby 7s Championship 2023, following a 52-0 victory against the home team Maharashtra at Balewadi in Pune.
The tournament saw 27 states compete for supremacy over the course of two days. Runners up of the last edition, Odisha emerged as the number one team in their group that also comprised Jharkhand and Gujarat.
Following the group stages, the girls from Odisha went onto assert their dominance with a 56-0 victory against Uttarakhand in the quarter finals, and a hard fought 22-17 triumph in the semifinals against last year’s fellow finalists and Champions, Bihar.
Speaking about his team’s stellar performance at the tournament, Coach Sanjukta Munda said, “We are thrilled with the result. The girls put in a lot of effort leading up to the tournament and they have received the reward for it.”
“This would not have been possible without the support of the Sports and Youth Services Department of Odisha and Odisha Rugby Football Association. We have had access to great infrastructure and facilities that have enabled us to perform well.”
The Championship is another badge of honour for Odisha, who continue to reiterate their commitment to the promotion and proliferation of sports in India. The state often serves as the base for the Men and Women’s Rugby team and regularly hosts camps for them. Furthermore, the Odisha government sponsors the National Women’s Junior and Senior Rugby teams. In 2022, the state government had also announced 19 jobs for international rugby players.
Over the next few days Odisha will also compete at the Senior National Rugby 7s Championship for women followed by the Junior and Senior National Rugby 7s Championship for men.