Steadfast Athlete Nilakanta Sharma has once again made India proud- this time for helping the Indian hockey team clinch the silver medal at the recently-concluded Commonwealth (CWG) Games held in Birmingham. Nilakanta, a midfielder in the 16-member Team India hockey squad, has contributed immensely to the team’s performance ever since he broke into the senior squad in 2017. The Steadfast Athlete, 27, who hails from Manipur, is among the biggest sources of inspiration for athletes from the North East and has been a regular feature in the Hockey India National Program.
Nilakanta, also a fitness icon, has been taking Steadfast Nutrition’s world-class sports supplements for years now. His personal favourite is Steadfast Snergy, a pre-workout energy drink taken by sportspersons from all over the country. Nilakanta also uses Steadfast’s Incredible Whey for recovery and Honey Peanut Butter for good fats.
Nilakanta told Steadfast Nutrition about his hectic schedule, the role of supplements in his preparation, and just what it took to reach the top of his game.
“Hockey is a very physically demanding sport and athletes are always expected to be extremely fit. Protein supplements play a major role in meeting these challenges. My personal favourite is Snergy. Apart from Snergy, I take Incredible Whey for recovery and Honey Peanut Butter for its good fats. I am happy that I chose India’s leading sports nutrition brand, Steadfast Nutrition. Steadfast has been instrumental in keeping my fitness game strong- both during the Tokyo Games and Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. Steadfast genuinely understands the requirements of an athlete’s body, which does get reflected in the products they manufacture.”
Appreciating Nilakanta’s stupendous feat, Steadfast Nutrition founder Aman Puri said, “Steadfast is proud of Nilakanta’s achievement. The Indian hockey team has made a comeback on the world stage after years of oblivion. Nilakanta is undoubtedly one of our best athletes. His win takes us closer to our aim of making India the Sports Capital of the World by 2050. When players like him, who come from small states, deliver on the global stage, it acts as a source of encouragement for one and all. On behalf of the Steadfast family, I wish him and all other members of the Indian team good luck for the upcoming events.”
Nilakanta came into the limelight of the national selection committee after he showed unbelievable consistency in the junior ranks. With his magical skills, he helped the junior team lift the 2014 Sultan of Johar Cup and delivered some quality performances at the 2016 Junior World Championship, following which he was called to represent the senior team. After that, the Steadfast Athlete never looked back. The varied skill set that the Steadfast Athlete carries has provided unique stability to the Indian hockey team. His ability to present the perfect balance of offensive and defensive has cemented his place in India’s midfield along with captain Manpreet Singh.
The gritty athlete had earlier told Steadfast about his days of struggle. Born as the son of a priest, he faced tonnes of difficulties in his arduous journey that will inspire anyone who dreams big. Without a proper hockey stick, shoes, or gear, he trained at 5 am every day in the only hockey ground in his town- this was the only time the turf was available. He used to ride a bicycle for 5 km to reach his destination.
Team India has been on a roll, having won the bronze at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 and the 2022 Asia Cup, and now the silver at the “Friendly Games”.
With the 2022 Asian Games about to commence and the Hockey World Cup only a few months ahead, the Indian hockey team has a bunch of challenges awaiting them.