Bhubaneswar: Eminent woman hockey player from Odisha, Deep Grace Ekka, today announced her retirement form International Hockey.
Ekka had represented India women’s national field hockey team in at least 268 matches in between 2011 and 2023.
Born in Sundargarh district of Odisha, Ekka (30) started playing state-level hockey matches at the age of 13.
She played at the National Games at Ranchi in 2011 and got selected for the Junior Asia Cup team in the same year. Ekka was selected for the Arjun award in 2022.
“It is with immense gratitude and humility that I officially announce my retirement from International Hockey today. The journey from 2011 to 2023 has been the highlight of my life, and I am deeply honoured to have represented India at the pinnacle of the sport. I extend my sincere thanks to Hockey India, Hockey Association of Odisha, and the Odisha Government for the invaluable opportunities they provided me. I would also like to thank the Government of India and Sports Authority of India for their unwavering support for the sport,” said Ekka in a social media post.
The acclaimed defender thanked her teammates, coaches, mentors and the entire support staff for her success at the hockey field. “Your presence has been nothing short of a privilege. I am grateful for your instrumental role in transforming my aspirations into reality,” she said.
Ekka also extended her best wishes to her former teammates and the Indian Hockey Team for all their future endeavours.