Hockey Maharashtra and Puneet Balan Group Celebrate Women’s Day by Honoring Women Hockey Players

Pune, March, 2024 – Hockey Maharashtra, in association with the Puneet Balan Group, organized a special function on International Women’s Day to celebrate the noteworthy achievements of its current women hockey players.

In a one-of-its-kind function, Hockey Maharashtra showcased four players – Rajani Ktimarpu, Vaishnavi Phalke, Akshata Dhekale, Rutuja Pisal who played for India at Junior and Senior levels respectively apart from seven others who have been called for various Indian camps for selection. The players who attended camps include, Manushree Shedge, Priyanka Wankhede, Kajal Atpadkar, Himanshi Gawande, Sashi Prabha, Ashwini Kolekar and Bhavana Khade.

The function was a gesture to acknowledgment of the depth of talent Hockey Maharashtra has and the overall contribution made towards serving India at the highest level in the past five years.

The event, held in the city and attended by a host of officials and supporters of the sport.

The day began with Krishna Prakash IPS ADG Force One Maharashtra State, Hockey Maharashtra President and Chairman of the Organising Committee telephonically wishing the girls good luck. “It’s a great moment for us all to have our team perform and aim for glory in their home city in Pune.”

Later, speaking at the event, Senior Vice President Hockey Maharashtra and Organising Secretary Manoj Bhore praised players for their dedication and perseverance. He emphasized the importance of recognizing and celebrating their achievements, which serve as an inspiration to aspiring young players across the state. “It is really a proud moment to speak about and certainly shows that we (Hockey Maharashtra) are in the right direction.

Also present, Hockey Maharashtra General Secretary and Convenor, Manish Anand, expressed pride in the accomplishments and spoke about the association’s commitment in to supporting and promoting the sport across Maharashtra. “Talent is abundant and we are proud to present a few who have emerged stars and are stand out examples for the others.”

The function was a fitting tribute to the women hockey players, acknowledging their contributions to the sport and celebrating their successes.

Meanwhile, an 18-member team was announced for the upcoming 14th Hockey India Senior Women’s Nationals to be played in the coming week. Likewise, the jersey and kit of the team was unveiled by General Secretary Hockey Maharashtra Manish Anand.

Also gracing the occasion were Smita Shirole, Dhyanchand Awardee, Clarence Lobo, Dronacharya Awardee, Mrs. Pooja Anand, City Congress President (Women Wing), and COO Hockey Maharashtra and Co Convener Meherprakash Tiwari.

The team will be led by midfielder Vaishnavi Phalke.


Goalkeepers: Sushmita Patil, Ranjani Etimarpu

Defenders: Nirjala Shinde, Aishwarya Dubey, Shashi Prabha Chaturvedi, Akshata Dhekale

Midfielders: Vaishnavi Phalke (Capt.), Bhavana Khade, Durga Shinde, Manashri Shedage, Shalini, Sakure, Diksha Avghade

Forwards: Himanshi Gawande, Kajal Atpadkar, Akansha Singh, Priyanka Wankhede, Yogita Bora, Rutuja Pisal.



Rajni Etimarpu – Captain of 5-a-side World Cup

Vaishnavi Phalke – Asia Cup, Olympic Qualifiers, World League, Senior World Cup

Akshata Dhekale- Senior World Cup, Jr World Cup, 5-a-Side World Cup

Rutuja Pisal – 5-a-Side World Cup, Junior World Cup, Captain for Argentina tour

Manashree Shedge, Priyanka Wankhede, Kajal Atpadkar, Himanshi Gawande, Shashi Prabha, Bhavana Khade, Sushmita Patil – all India Campers