Hailing from Punjab, 25 year old Ramneek Kaur is a professional rugby player who plays as a forward. She has played at the Asia Rugby Sevens Trophy and is now setting her sights on winning a medal in Division 1 as well as representing India at the Los Angeles Olympics in 2028. In this exclusive interview, she speaks about her journey and experiences, overcoming challenges, importance of mental strength, advice to other girls and her future goals.
Q 1) Tell us about your journey as a professional rugby player and how were you introduced to the sport?
I started to play rugby in 2017 and before that I was a national medalist kabaddi player. In kabaddi there is a sort of political system and I was selected for the national camp but for some reason I wasn’t sent there. My coach Siddharth Kashmir Singh suggested that I try rugby because it was a new sport in Punjab.
Q 2) What was your experience at the Asia Rugby Sevens Trophy? What did you learn from it?
It was an amazing experience that taught me a lot of things. As I mentioned before, rugby has been relevant in Punjab for just 5-6 years now. I have already learned a lot playing for different teams and different competitions and the future is going to be very bright for rugby in Punjab.
Q 3) What are some of the challenges that you have faced as a rugby athlete in India? How did you overcome them?
Rugby has a lot of competition as girls from all over India come to play. Every player has their own set of qualities and fitness levels. My competition is with me to keep up with my fitness and give my best so that I can make a place for myself in the team.
Q 4) Apart from physical strength, how important is mental strength to become a successful rugby player?
I think it is a very physical sport where strength and agility is required but then again mental strength also plays an important part in the sport. When you fall down or get tired a different mentality sets in as you are representing your country at the biggest stage. The mental aspect in the sport of rugby becomes very important.
Q 5) What is your advice to girls who want to take up rugby professionally?
Rugby is a beautiful sport and Rugby India has a future plan for these up and coming young rugby players. My message to all the young girls is that it is a fun sport although it looks dangerous and a lot could be achieved professionally.
Q 6) What are your future goals and how do you plan to achieve them?
Rugby India has a game plan to take us to Division 1 and hopefully win a medal there. The long term goal is to qualify for the Olympics in 2028. We as individuals will need to give our best to achieve this dream.