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Wearing the Indian Colours in Women's Football with Jyoti Ann Burett

A sportswoman who has trained with both her home country’s team and abroad, Jyoti Ann Burrett is a rising star to watch.
BY Achala Upendran |   29-01-2014
Jyoti Ann Burrett
As a striker for the Indian women’s football team, Jyoti Ann Burrett has come a long way in her brief professional athletic career – she’s even trained with England’s Tottenham Hotspurs football club.

Although she completed her undergraduate degree in Economics and Political Science at Delhi’s St. Stephen’s College, Burrett went on to complete her M.Sc in Sport and Health Sciences in the U.K. – at the University of Exeter. When she’s not on the field, she works as a personal trainer at Sumaya, a health and fitness club in Delhi.

The twenty-four year old spoke with about pursuing her sporting dreams.

  1. What prompted you to take up the Sport and Health Science degree at the University of Exeter?

  2. I was keen to do my Masters’ in a subject related to sport. I began looking for sports management courses but came across the sport and health science degree that seemed right up my street. Although I had no previous academic knowledge in the field, except for a physical education module during my undergraduate degree, I knew I would manage given my interest level in the subject matter. I chose the University of Exeter for its great sport loving atmosphere, academic quality and fantastic location.

  3. Was it a tough decision for you to get involved in sport as a full-time career?

  4. In my mind there was never a doubt. I did however want to be well educated and so I kept my academics strong. I chose sport as my career because it truly brings out the best in me.

  5. How would you describe your experience training with the Tottenham Hotspurs football club in the U.K., in one sentence?

  6. Short, thrilling and eye opening.

  7. What does a day of training with the Indian women’s football team usually consist of?

    Indian Women’s Football Team
  8. It usually starts early, so we wake up by 5 am. Training begins at 6:30. Morning training usually involves a half an hour warm up without the ball and then half an hour of simple ball control exercises. We then move on to more technical with-ball drills, tactical moves, and finishing practice (for the strikers). We then play 6 vs 6 or full field high intensity matches to implement the moves learnt in the training session and get some real game time for about half an hour. Post lunch we have a quick rest before we hit the gym at 3 pm. This session would last an hour. In the evenings we play some table tennis or go for a walk. This gives us time to gel with our teammates off the field.

  9. What do you think could be done to sharpen the focus on women’s sport in India?

  10. Media coverage, more opportunities to play competitively and better financial support can do wonders for women’s sport in India. India is brimming with talent which just needs to be tapped and nurtured.

  11. How did you get into the practice of ‘juggling’ the ball, and how has it helped you in your position as striker?

  12. It started off as a hobby. I was quite wonderstruck after seeing the stuff people could do with a football. It was the coolest thing to me and I wanted to be able to do it too. So I picked up a tennis ball lying around in my house and gave it a go! I moved on to a football about a month later and didn’t stop till I felt I was good enough. Juggling gave me time to understand how the ball moved and could be controlled. Being a striker, it helped me make quick adjustments to control the ball and get it in a shooting position with a single touch.

  13. Who are your top three role models?

  14. My father, Francesco Totti and Mia Hamm.

  15. Top two tips for students interested in getting into sport full-time?

  16. Continue to educate yourself, it’ll only be a bonus.

  17. One thing you never leave India without?

  18. My Jansport backpack.



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