Varun Kumar, a 21 year student in DAV College, Jalandhar has made India proud by getting our country World Cup in 2016. With the experience of 10 years in hockey and dedication, he got into the Indian Junior Hockey team.
He has won lot of medals and trophies during his journey due to his hardwork and focus. Due to certain reasons he had to discontinue his journey in the team but returned back even stronger. Inspite of the obstacles along his journey he didn’t loose hope and worked hard towards his aim.
1. You must be having a unique connection with Hockey. Tell us about your journey & experience till now.
I started playing hockey at a quite young age when one of my friend Manpreet Singh, who is currently in Indian hockey team suggested me to play hockey. I used to play hockey casually at first but later I developed a liking for it and left my home to take professional training from academies like Baba Uttam Singh, Gurmuk Singh, Surmeet Singh hockey academy. I started playing matches first at district level, then state, then national and now here I am in the Indian Junior Hockey Team.
2. Who is your mentor? And who has been your greatest support so far?
My mentor is Manpreet Singh. I have learnt a lot from him. His achievement in the Indian hockey team motivated me to stick to hockey and give my 100%.
My parents have been my greatest support all along the journey. They encouraged me at every point and have sacrificed a lot for me. They provided me with all the required equipment and never let the money issues come between my way to hockey.
3. Did it affect your studies? How did you balance your studies with hockey?
Yes, it affected my studies a lot. I used be a bright student in primary school but since I joined the academies I could not attend school regularly. I became a mediocre student in high school. But whenever I used to go to the school I used to concentrate in class and make notes to cover up things. And during exams I used to practice hockey in the morning and study all night. I passed the school with average marks. Currently I am in DAV college, Jalandar. Due to matches I am not able to give much time but I study whenever I get time.
4. What was the best moment of your life?
The best moment in my life was when I got the news that I got selected in the Indian Junior Hockey team and when we got World Cup (2016), that moment really can not be expressed in words. It completely changed my life. This was the moment I have worked hard for and it paid off.
5. Hockey being the national sport doesn’t get much recognition. What’s your opinion on that?
Initially Hockey was given importance and recognition. During that time because of team’s hard work and support of people, Indian Hockey team got many medals in Olympics and World Cups but gradually when the performance deteriorated, hockey became unpopular. Now as we are progressing, people are also gaining back interest. I hope we get more support from the people so that we can get motivated to do more for our country.
6. What is your message for the aspirants?
I would just like to say, keep a clear aim and focus on that. Be disciplined and work hard to achieve it. There will be hurdles along the journey but don’t give up, just increase the hard work. It might be difficult in the starting but at the end it really pays off.
Also published on Medium.