Rural India shines as Sweety Kumari gets recognised as ‘international young player of the year’

Sweety Kumari, at 19 years of age, becomes India's pride after showcasing her talent, scaring the most fearless of rugby nations.

Originally a sprinter, Sweety Kumari has an explosive nature that has earned her the title of Asia's fastest woman's rugby player by Asia Rugby. She has also been named the international young player of the year by Scrumqueens, a reputed women's rugby website.

Belonging to Nawada village in Barh Tehsil of Patna, the young prospect has caught the attention of millions of rugby fans especially after her try against the Philippines at the Asia Rugby Women's Championship last year.

Scrumqueens, on December 30, declared Sweety as the international youth player of the year after she won a public poll. The category had the most diverse set of nominations with over a dozen names raised from over 10 different countries.

The worthy nominees have had a huge impact on the sport having started their rugby careers at either club or school level but only one had formed her own team and even managed to earn this recognision.

Sweety had no prior knowledge of rugby until the secretary of the state rugby association saw her athleticism at an event and recomended to her, the sport of rugby. At just 14 years of age, she learnt all about the sport all by herself, managed to create her own team and enter the state championship. Three years later, she now plays for India's U17 team and has made an appearence for the senior squad last year.

She made a lasting impression after performing exceptionally in Asia sevens and fifteens, earning her the title of the continent's fastest player by Asia Rugby. Her power and proactive nature has helped her secure the top scoring player spot in most of India's sevens tournaments. She also managed to score two incredible tries at her first ever test match against Singapore.

India’s dream of playing outside Asia are slim, as many better resourced and experienced nations compete alongside India for Asia's limited spots in World Tournament. Even though there might be couple of years until we see the Women in Blue compete internationally, Sweety Kumari is surely the player to help elevate them to the next level.

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