CHENNAI, India, Oct 27, 2023— In a remarkable display of talent and determination, NS Akshaya and V Divya, both hailing from Tamil Nadu, achieved international recognition by representing India at the prestigious Asia Rugby U18 Sevens Championship 2023. Their exceptional performance at this global sporting event earned them a well-deserved silver medal, highlighting the excellence of Indian rugby on the world stage.
Akshaya and Divya’s journey into rugby began with their participation in the transformative Sports for Change initiative, a program under HCLFoundation, which delivers the corporate social responsibility agenda of HCLTech in India. The duo made the transition to rugby from kho-kho under the coaching of Guna Sekaran Kumar, a certified rugby coach. Their performance at national tournaments representing Tamil Nadu between 2021 and 2023 caught the attention of selectors, earning them places among the top 27 rugby players in India.
“Making it to the national team was an exceptional feat and hearing our national anthem play during the award ceremony was a moment I’ll forever hold dear,” said V Divya, who plays as the fly-half for the team and is pursuing Bachelor of Science in Sports Biomechanics and Kinesiology.
“Empowering lives through education, sports and holistic development is not merely our mission, but a steadfast commitment to creating a brighter, more inclusive future. At HCLFoundation, we believe in the transformative power of education and sports to uplift communities and foster sustainable growth. Through innovative initiatives, we strive to address critical social challenges, ensuring that individuals have the tools and opportunities they need to thrive and no one is left behind,” said Dr. Nidhi Pundhir, Vice President, Global CSR, HCLFoundation.
Ahead of the Asia Rugby U18 Sevens Championship 2023, Akshaya and Divya underwent a rigorous 45-day training program at KIIT University, Bhubaneshwar, which helped them earn spots in the national rugby team.
From tailored nutrition plans to logistical assistance on and off the field, HCLFoundation’s holistic approach ensured that Akshaya and Divya had every opportunity to excel.