India’s Jr hockey WC-winning team meets Balbir Sr

The team members along with coach Harendra Singh, met Balbir Singh Sr at his residence here last evening to pay their respects during a private interaction.

hockey team junior

The team members along with coach Harendra Singh, met Balbir Singh Sr at his residence last evening.   -  Rajeev Bhatt

The members of the victorious Indian Junior Hockey World Cup team has called on hockey legend Balbir Singh Sr here and got some valuable tips from the 92-year-old.

The team members along with coach Harendra Singh, met Balbir Singh Sr at his residence here last evening to pay their respects during a private interaction.

They spent time with the legend, who in a special effort to inspire them to win more medals for India, showed his three Olympic gold medals to the youngsters.

Balbir Singh Sr congratulated them on their World Cup victory and said: “They are the future of Indian hockey. I wanted them to feel with their own hands what an Olympic gold medal feels like, so that they are inspired to go win one for themselves and India.”

“Aim high, think positive, work hard, the spot at the top is always empty,” Balbir Sr said as he shared the mantra for success with the boys.

Balbir Sr was a member of three Olympic gold medal winning teams in London (1948), Helsinki (1952) and Melbourne (1956 as captain).

Besides being a player par excellence, Balbir Sr was the manager and chief coach of the Indian team at the 1975 World Cup, which India won, and the 1971 World Cup, where India settled for a bronze medal.

During the interaction, Harendra Singh said: “It is an honour for me to be able to meet and spend time with sir. I’m blessed! His achievements as a player, coach and administrator are unequivocally the most by any person in the history of hockey and for him to make efforts to meet and interact with the rising stars of Indian hockey will surely inspire them.

“Hockey India is definitely on the right track to fulfill Balbir ji’s wish to see Indian hockey atop the podium once more,” he said.

Notably, India had created history by winning the FIH Junior Hockey World Cup after a gap of 15 years with a clinical 2—1 victory over Belgium in the final at Lucknow in December last year.

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