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Arjuna Awardee Says The Hard Work Was Worth It

Arjuna Award Winner Prabhjot Singh did not have a hockey background, but made it big in the sport due to sheer perseverance and family support. Initially, coach Inderjeet Singh Gill trained him for 5 years and then Ajay Kumar Bal in Air India Delhi. Post that Prabhjot joined Indian Oil.

Born in Massanian village in Gurdaspur district, Prabhjot is a graduate. He has an elder sister and an elder brother. His father has been his inspiration. His father always says one thing to him Jo bhi karna hai khud karna hai but necessary things were always provided to him. Besides having a supportive father, he has an encouraging and friendly mother. His wife Jasleen Kaur is his strength and one hug from his son Harjorawar Singh at the end of a tiring day is enough to recharge him.

What made you choose sports per se?

In my whole family nobody played hockey. But my neighbor used to play the game. So one day he called me to watch his match which later attracted me. I asked my parents for a hockey stick and then I started playing. For that I had to travel 7 kms daily to the city of Batala. The first 2 kms we had to walk then take a bus to the stadium as we had to practice for 3 hours and we used to reach home around 9 pm. It’s just because of my neighbor I play hockey today. I believe that if my neighbor was more inclined towards cricket then today I would have become a cricketer.

What did your parents say when you decided to take up hockey as a career?

At my initial days my family observed that my inclination was more towards hockey as compared to studies so they have always supported me to play and sent me for trials. Initially I did not get selected even after giving 4-5 hostel trials. But when I tried harder I was selected in various teams at the same time.

How did you get your job in Indian Oil Corporation?

After winning Air India Under 21, I got selected in Indian Junior team. Later we won Junior World Cup and then Indian Oil hired me in its first batch with other national players. IOC is very supportive and is one of the best team I have played with.

You are called a forward player. How would you explain that to a person, who does not know anything about the game?

Being the forward player of the team, I believe that such a player leads the team towards winning or losing the game. One who plays as a forward player should have attacking skills and speed which leads the team to win the match.

PS Fb 4

You bagged the greatest Indian award for a sports player – Arjuna Award in 2008. I am sure you felt good at that time. But looking back what do you honestly feel, now?

When I look back there were so many ups and downs I have faced but I felt good when I remember that moment getting the Arjuna Award. It has always encouraged me to work harder and it’s a responsibility on my shoulders that I always have to perform better to keep myself worthy of it. I have learnt from my mistakes and when I play well it boosts up my confidence.

You have won many medals and trophies for India. Looking back how hard was it?

It was really very hard to make things happen but at the end winning medals and trophies for India is worthy of all hard work.

Did you have any problems as a new player?

It was a dream to represent my country and win medals for her. I worked hard for it and even faced many problems while playing against the foreign teams but at the same time it gave me good experience and I learnt from it.

What is the future of sports in India?

It is very bright! Every team is winning medals in their game like in Asian Games, Olympics, etc. Earlier it was very difficult but now the standard of performance has increased no matter which game it is hockey, boxing or shooting.

What do you see as the future of hockey in India?

It’s bright! As club league has entered in India the Hockey India League, which gives a good platform to juniors and an international experience to each player and a different vertical which gives them maximum exposure.

It has been said that Indian Government does not give enough facilities to sports people. What is your opinion about the same?

No, I don’t agree with this. The federation provides sufficient facilities to players. Yes, there are some pros and cons. But I believe it all depends upon the player to make each opportunity and facility count and perform, as we together make things happen.

How do you think things can improve as far as sports facilities are concerned in India?

As I have mentioned before, it’s not a one sided effort. The federation demands medals and trophies but at the same time they also need to understand the requirements of players. But players are afraid to share their problems because they believe that if they demand, the management would take action against them.

Is there an age-limit for this sport?

No, there is no age-limit. It all depends upon the fitness of the player. As long as the player is fit he could be a part of the sport.

What are your future projects?

I am focusing on my fitness so that I can perform better in upcoming tournaments like Hockey India League.

Do you plan to make your children hockey players? If you had a daughter would you let her play hockey?

My parents did not stop me from playing hockey as my interest was in it more than studies. I also won’t force my child to join any specific field. My children are free to do whatever their interest is. As I have mentioned above it is applicable to both whether it is boy or girl.

Do you plan to go into coaching in future?

Yes! After my retirement I am planning to share my 11 year experience with juniors and budding sport personalities, which will help them to perform better and understand how to tackle pressure which will be beneficial for both players and the country.

What would be your advice to young people getting into this field?

I like to advice youngsters to play the game with dedication. When one is on the ground he/she should be focused on the game and he should forget about the outside world. The target should be in his mind and zeal to achieve it.

Any message for the readers?

Kuch bhi padho whether it is newspaper or magazine but jab bhi kuch acha padte ho usse share karo. It will inspire others especially youngsters.

 

About Yashaswini K

Controversy is the second name of Yashaswini. She goes where something is amiss and picks up the threads to make a clear story out of it.

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