Steadfast Athlete and Team India footballer Anju Tamang’s goal-Winning Formula: Incredible Whey and a Never-Say-Die Attitude

Steadfast Athlete and Team India footballer Anju Tamang’s goal-Winning Formula: Incredible Whey and a Never-Say-Die Attitude

Try spotting jersey No 9 on the football field in a women’s football match- the versatile and swift midfielder making her way across the opponent team members is Steadfast athlete Anju Tamang. The footballer plays for India at international matches and for the India women’s national team and the Odisha fan club.

Anju Tamang was born in 1995 in West Bengal. The athlete, who comes from a a family of farmers, has completed her schooling from Kalimpong, followed by bachelors from the University of North Bengal, Siliguri. She was always bright in studies and dreamt of becoming a doctor since childhood. However, financial issues in her family kept her from opting for science as her field of study.

As a child, Anju used to play football in village parks and fields with the boys of her neighbourhood. Anju finally met a professional mentor in Kalimpong when she was 17 who coached her in football and counselled her to join an academy. She played in the inaugural Indian Women’s League at his behest. She was 19 and has never looked back since then, becoming an established international footballer. Anju initially started playing as a forward, moved to wing-back, and now plays as a midfielder in the Indian women’s team. However, she has played as a forward for the Odisha FC since 2022.

Since 2014, Anju has been carving her way by participating in championships across India. She was a part of the senior national championship in Assam in 2014, followed by the National Games in Kerala in 2015, the Senior Women’s National Football championship in Kalyani in 2016, and the Senior National Women’s Football Championship in Punjab in 2017. This same year she also participated in the AFC qualifiers in North Korea and the FIFA friendly match in Malaysia. 2018 saw her participation in the COTIF Cup in Spain, the Olympic qualifier round-1 in Myanmar and the Senior Nationals Women’s Football Championship in Orissa.

2019 was a packed year for Anju that started with a friendly match with Hong Kong and another with Indonesia in January, followed by the Hero Gold Cup in Bhubaneswar in February. Anju further contributed to the Indian team’s victory in the 2019 South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Women's Championship hosted by Nepal. She continued participating in championships, including the Turkish Women’s Cup in March and the Olympic qualifies Round-2 in Myanmar in April and clinched a bronze in the COTIF Cup in Spain in August. With no rest, she participated in a friendly match with Uzbekistan in September, another with Vietnam in November and the Senior Nationals in Punjab and Odisha. They year ended with a bang as her team was declared winners in the South Asian Games hosted by Nepal.

The year 2020 was slow due to covid. However, the team did emerge runners-up in the Indian Women’s League that year. 2021 saw a series of friendly matches against against Serbia in Uzbekistan, Dubai and Tunisia in UAE, Bahrain and Chinese Taipei in Bahrain, Brazil, Chile, and Venezuela in Brazil. 2022 saw the Indian team’s participation in the Asian Football Championship, a friendly match against Jordan and Egypt in Jordan, a friendly U-20 match against Sweden and USA in Sweden, and the SAFF Championship in Nepal.

This year, Anju has participated in friendly matches against Nepal, Jordan, and Uzbekistan. She also scored three goals against Kyrgyztan in the Olympic qualifiers in April.

Anju has been part of the Steadfast Nutrition family for a year.

“My association with Steadfast has been one of the best things in my health journey. I believe in their products. Each supplement is formulated according to my needs. One of my favourite products from Steadfast is Incredible Whey in chocolate and strawberry flavours. It is ideal for quick muscle growth and recovery, with is essential in football. Incredible Whey contains 24 g protein in a single-serving, scoopless sachet, which makes it easy to use, carry and store. So I use it for intense workouts.”

Anju recalls her days of struggle as a teenager. She says no one in her family has played football. “No one supported my game, neither friends nor my family. So it has been very difficult to convince everyone.”

She played football without a goal right uptill Class 10. The turning point in Anju’s life came when she met her coach after joining the Scottish University Mission Institution (SUMI), who made her realise that she could do better. Her football journey started.

Success never comes without sweat and pain- Anju has had her share. During her initial days of training and preparation in Turkey, she got a serious knee injury and was unable to perform. She was hurt and in despair since agility is a must for a fast sport like football. Recovery and comeback were difficult after that. She had to prove her fitness again to be a part of the squad.

When she is not playing football, Anju loves to spend her time reading or playing the guitar.

Today, she has come a long way- with wins, medals, and honours to her credit. All she can think of is doing well as a football player and achieving laurels for herself, her team, and the country.

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