Anjali Dayalji Thakker (born 20 August 1993) is a New Zealand ice hockey forward and inline hockey player. She is a member of the New Zealand women's national ice hockey team and the CHL Aranda de Duero of the Spanish Senior Women's Liga Elite.
Thakker was born in Christchurch, New Zealand to a Kiwi mother and an Indian father, but grew up in Hamilton.She started playing inline hockey at the age of 11 when she attended Fairfield Intermediate School. She graduated from Hillcrest High School when she was 17 years old. Thakker was a Sir Edmund Hillary Scholar at the University of Waikato and graduated in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science major in Biochemistry. Her two-year older brother Sanjay Thakker has also represented New Zealand in inline hockey and studied at the same university.
She joined the Hamilton Devils in 2005 in the U12 programme and was selected as the team captain in 2006. Thakker lead her team to the gold medal at the New Zealand National Championships. In 2011 aged 18 she was chosen as the alternate captain of the senior team and lead her team to gold in the national championships, a feat repeated in 2012 and 2013 followed by a silver medal in 2014, with Thakker wearing the captain's C on her jersey.
Thakker began the 2015-16 season at the Solent Lizards in Fareham, United Kingdom. The team, however, folded following the closure of Solent Arena and Thakker was released from her contract.
Following her stay in England, Thakker went to play for Ris-Orangis in the French Women's Elite league playing two games in which she scored 12 points.
In December 2015 the Spanish Elite league's bottom club CHLAD from Aranda de Duero signed Thakker for an undisclosed sum. After 4 games in CHLAD, Thakker has scored 10 goals making her the league's 2nd top scorer and CHLAD have climbed from the bottom spot and away from the relegation zone.
The Swedish Köping Inline declared their intention to win both men and women's Swedish Championship in 2016 and made a number of high-profile signings to reach that goal and Thakker joined Köping's women's team for the finals during SM-veckan inline hockey finals 2016 in Norrköping. Thakker scored all 3 goals in their first game securing a 3-1 win for Köping. In the championship final against Wermland, Thakker scored the fastest hat trick in Swedish history taking just 2 minutes and 9 seconds to net three unanswered goals at the start of the first period. The game ended in an 8-4 Köping victory with Thakker scoring 7 out of the 8 Köping goals.
After just a few months of starting ice hockey, Thakker was selected in the Auckland women's representative team in 2010. The team has since won four national titles from 2010-2013. In 2013 Thakker was alternate captain.
In August 2014 Thakker signed to Melbourne Ice for the 2014-15 season. Melbourne Ice compete in the Australian Women's Ice Hockey League (AWIHL). Thakker assisted the team in lifting the Joan McKowen Memorial Trophy for the third consecutive year in 2015. Thakker finished sixth in the scoring leaders for the league, with 8 goals and 8 assists from 12 games played.
Thakker began her international inline hockey career in 2008 with the New Zealand Junior Women's National Team in the Oceania Inline Hockey Championships and continued to impress at the AAU Junior Olympics in 2010 where Thakker was the top scorer. She has featured in the New Zealand women's national team every year since she was 17 and captained the team at the 2015 NARCh tournament.
She was again chosen into the New Zealand national team in 2016
Despite her young age, Thakker is one of the most capped female ice hockey players in New Zealand having represented New Zealand Ice Fernz every year since 2011.
Selected early into the 2016 New Zealand women's national ice hockey team, Thakker had an international break-through tournament at the 2016 ice hockey world championship finals finishing second in goals and in points for the whole tournament scoring more than half of all New Zealand goals (7 out of 13) and either scoring or assisting all New Zealand goals in all but one game in the tournament. Her performance saw Thakker selected as the Best Player for Team New Zealand and she was awarded the coveted IIHF Tissot watch.Sir Peter Blake Trust Dream Team Leader
Duffy Books in Homes Role Model
Top Scorer at Swedish Inline Hockey Championships 2016
Best Player Team New Zealand, IIHF World Championship 2016
University of Waikato Sporting Blues Award 2011-14
Sir Edmund Hillary Scholarship
New Zealand University Blues Award 2012
NARCh Fastest Skater Award 2015
Top Sniper New Zealand National Skills Competition 2014