The hockey legacy of the Siwach family

Former India captain and Dronacharya award winner Pritam Rani Siwach and her husband and ex-player Kuldeep Siwach have groomed several players, including three who were part of the Indian women’s side that finished fourth in the Tokyo Olympics.

Pritam Rani Siwach and her husband and Kuldeep Siwach watch the proceedings in Bhubaneswar.   -  Biswaranjan Rout

The Siwach family is proud of their son Yashdeep in India colours at the Junior World Cup, and watching the youngsters in action is a bigger attraction.

Former India captain and Dronacharya award winner Pritam Rani Siwach and her husband and ex-player Kuldeep Siwach have groomed several players, including three who were part of the Indian women’s side that finished fourth in the Tokyo Olympics. 

They treat Yashdeep and his sister Kanika, who also plays as a midfielder at sub-junior level, among those who are products of the Pritam Rani Hockey Academy in Sonepat. “All of them are our kids. As players, we don’t differentiate. As a parent, it’s a special joy to see your son playing for the country in a big event at home,” Pritam, who was at the Kalinga Stadium with Kuldeep to watch India’s quarterfinal match against Belgium, told Sportstar on Wednesday.

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“As parents, we shower our love and affection on them. But as coaches, we treat all the kids equally. It’s about the larger picture of going on to play for the country and making it proud,” said Kuldeep.

The ‘team first’ approach is ingrained in Yashdeep as well. “I speak to my parents regularly, but we don’t discuss individual games. They always speak about how the team played and what we could have done,” said Yashdeep.

Pritam confides that she did not hesitate to be strict when required. “Not only do I rebuke Yashdeep when there is a lapse, but I also hit him. Later, we make up when he says, ‘Mummy, you hit me very hard,’” said Pritam with a smile.

During internal matches of the academy, Yashdeep sides with Pritam, while his sister plays with Kuldeep. 

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