‘An honour to be part of such an amazing event’

The Railways Sports Promotion Board was named the Best PSU for the Promotion of Sports at the Sportstar Aces Awards supported by the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, in association with MRF.

Yuvraj Walmiki (left) says hockey has given him and his brother Devinder “name and fame.”   -  Special Arrangement

Yuvraj Walmiki watched with pride as the Railways Sports Promotion Board received the Sportstar Aces Award as the Best PSU for the Promotion of Sports. As part of the senior nationals-winning men’s hockey squad for three years, the India men and Railways forward has done his bit for employers.

He and brother Devinder (of the Petroleum Sports Promotion Board) discovered the power of sport to influence lives, moving from humble Mumbai beginnings to donning India colours — the 2014 FIH World Cup and the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, respectively, being the highs — apart from being regulars in the German hockey league for different clubs.

Sport is supposed to have the power to change lives. Your experience?

First of all, it is an honour to be part of such an amazing event. We have grown up reading the headlines (on sports pages), accompanied by pictures. Our pictures also appeared. We took up sport hoping to represent India one day. It played an integral part in our lives, in shaping our careers.

Hockey has been a life-changing moment for both of you...

The sport has given us name and fame. We continue to pursue our career and look forward to more and more medals for India from hockey. Hopefully, we will get the Olympic medal in 2020 (at the Tokyo Games).

Odisha hosted the FIH World Cup Hockey last year. Your thoughts on where the game has reached...

India did a fantastic feat by reaching the quarterfinals. Our hockey is on the right track and (we are) ranked fifth in the world now. We have a fair chance against the leading nations. Matches against Belgium, the Netherlands, Australia are hard-fought, unlike before, when we used to lose by big margins. We hope the Indian team keeps up the good work and with more consistency, one day we should be able to call ourselves part of a hockey-playing gold medal-winning generation.

The Railways won the senior national hockey title recently and the Railways Sports Promotion Board was awarded the nation’s best PSU for sport promotion. Your thoughts...

The Indian Railways had a month-long camp for the nationals and we beat Punjab, fielding many World Cuppers, in the final. The hard work is paying off. Being part of three senior nationals champion squads is a proud feeling. It is always an honour and matter of pride to play for the Railways.