The Unstoppable-Jarmanpreet Singh
“I started playing Hockey when I was in the 6th grade, in my hometown, Amritsar. In 2011, I got into the Junior Indian Hockey Team and played with the team for four consecutive years. I have also played for the Hockey India League by Punjab Warriors.
“In 2015, I had a major roadblock when I failed a dope-test. It came as a shock to me, and I was banned from playing the next two years. What had happened was that I had been having severe backaches. When I went to a local doctor for treatment, he injected me with a painkiller that helped the pain go down. Unfortunately, the doctor was unaware of the banned substances to be used on an active sportsman. Hence, I was banned from playing hockey for two years.
“Those two years became the greatest struggle of my life. I was not allowed to play the sport at all. People who weren’t aware of the actual situation commented on me and my sportsmanship. The only thing I did was lean on my family’s support and had faith in God. I have won several medals with the teams I’ve played with before the ban. And now, since 2018, I have been back in the Indian Senior Team and am ready to take on new challenges.
“Physically, I have to keep my strength and speed intact. There goes a lot of practice behind it. The skill and passion for playing hockey have to be a part of my regimen as well. But there also goes quite a lot of mental strength into the game. Hence, hockey is a very hard-working game. Every other sport requires a lot of hard work. I am a sportsman first, a hockey player second.
“Every sport should be treated at par. Hockey wasn’t as well-known back then. Today, it is in a better stage, not necessarily the best, but it is represented better than it was before. But it can only become better when people look at it differently. If people come to watch the matches live, take more interest in it, it can be spoken about on another level.
The best advice I’ve got is from my father. And it is the same thing he always mentions— ‘You do your job thoroughly. Whatever you’re supposed to receive out of it will come to you.’ This has always stuck with me. And hence, if I have to give the ultimate advice to someone, I’d say— always respect your family; your parents and elders. And make sure no matter what you do, you learn, work hard and stay positive.”