Teacher’s Day: Indian hockey stars recall influence of their gurus

On the occasion of Teachers Day, players from the Indian men’s and women’s hockey teams recalled the influence of their childhood teachers and coaches that had a lasting impression on their careers and forged their path to achieve success.

Known for his exploits at the goalpost, P.R. Sreejesh recalled how his teacher’s words at the GV Raja Sports School has helped him surge ahead with a strong mind during these past few months that have posed several challenges in an athlete’s life due to Covid-19 pandemic halting competition and training.

He said, “In my early days at the GV Raja Sports School, I would cry during almost all sessions and always wore a dull look in classes because I missed home and my family terribly.”

“My teacher, who had noticed this, called me and said, be patient, you can go home in three months for Onam and be with your family but until then focus on your abilities, your classes and sport. Don’t think of the issues that you can’t control.

“Those words stayed with me forever and now in 2020, it applies more so than ever where a lot of things are not in our control and the best thing to do is to just focus on what we can. That was the best advice I ever received from my teacher,” he added.

Like Sreejesh, goalkeeper Savita from the women’s team said, “My father has been my greatest teacher. He has always guided me, especially in my toughest times when I was injured.”

“He taught me to never give up and made me tough and perseverant. His words keep me motivated even when I am not having my best day on field.”

SV Sunil, on the other hand, thanked everyone who has been part of his journey so far right from his parents and family. “When someone achieves big, there is an army of people who would have backed his or her journey. For me, it started with my family followed by the teachers, all the coaches I have worked with so far. If not for their role, it would not have been possible to climb up the success ladder,” he said and also wished all the teachers and his coaches on the occasion of Teachers Day.

Dragflick sensation Gurjit Kaur, on the other hand, recalled the role of her childhood coach Sardar Sharanjit Singh. “In everyone’s life, there would be a guru who would have shaped their lives and shown them the right direction. My guru Sardar Sharanjith Singh has a similar influence as he guided me in my early days as a hockey player and then through my college days, I received the best guidance and support from my coaches that helped me enter the national coaching camp. Even now, at the national camp, we have a great support from the coaching staff who are our constant motivation,” stated Gurjit.

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