Who is Sunita Punia?

Savita Punia is an Indian hockey player who plays for the Indian women’s national team. She is a Haryana native who plays goalkeeper. Punia has earned the title “Great Wall of India” because of her fantastic performance in the 2020 Summer Olympics. However, the Indian female hockey squad narrowly missed a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020.

Early years

  • Savita Punia was born in Jodhkan village in Haryana’s Sirsa district on July 11, 1990. She went to the community to attain higher education. 
  • She was a student at the sports academy. Her grandfather, Mahinder Singh, motivated her to play hockey. Subsequently, she enrolled at Hisar’s Sports Authority of India (SAI) institution.
  • During her early years, she was trained by Sunder Singh Kharab. At first, she was uninterested in the sport, but after her father spent 20,000 rupees for her kit, she began to see the game with a fresh perspective and became passionate about it. 
  • Punia was chosen for her first national camp in Lucknow in 2007, where she trained alongside a top goalie.

Career Achievements

  • Punia was a gifted child who rose to prominence at an early age. Punia embarked on her first overseas tour in 2008, a four-country tour through the Netherlands and Germany.  
  • In 2011, she made her senior international debut. She has appeared in more than 100 international games. She made her way to the national team while she was only 17 years old in 2007. 
  • She participated in the Junior Asia Cup in 2009 as a squad member.
  • She competed at Malaysia’s eighth Women’s Asia Cup in 2013, stopping two important potential goals in the penalty shoot, allowing India to secure a bronze medal. 
  • At the Incheon Asian Games in 2014, she was one of the players on the bronze-winning team.
  • In 2016, while performing, she repelled a bombardment of penalty corners from Japan in the final 1 minute and enabled India to maintain its 1-0 advantage. After 36 years, she helped the squad qualify for Rio Olympics. 
  • In the 2018 Asia Cup, she delivered an incredible performance against China in the final, winning herself the tournament goalie honour and a ticket for her squad to the 2018 World Cup in London.
  • She played brilliantly at the Hawke’s Bay Tournament in New Zealand, assisting her side to a sixth-place finish. 
  • Her tremendous effort enabled the Indian women’s side to defeat Chile in the last game of the Women ‘s Hockey World League Round 2 competition.


  • At the Hockey India Awards held in 2015, she received the Baljit Singh Best Goalie of the Year award for her remarkable performance for India in worldwide contributions, proving her status as the greatest goalkeeper in the nation. She was also given a financial incentive of one lakh rupees for her commitment to sports.
  • Savita Punia is an encouragement for Haryana and all Indians striving for greatness. Much is unknown about Savita’s parents. However, 2018 Arjuna Award winner Savita acknowledges much of her accomplishments to her family and grandparents, particularly her grandfather Mahinder Singh.