Image Credits: @HockeyIndia
The young defender says he was inspired to pursue hockey by his mother and former Indian Women’s Hockey Team Captain Pritam Siwach
As the India Colts prepare to defend their coveted title at the FIH Odisha Hockey Men's Junior World Cup in Bhubaneswar later this month, young defender Yashdeep Siwach; who is a part of the Indian Junior Men's Core Probables Group for the FIH Odisha Hockey Men's Junior World Cup, took a moment to reflect on his personal journey and spoke about the inspiration he sought from his mother – former Indian Women’s Hockey Team Captain and Arjuna awardee Pritam Siwach.
“I started playing hockey by following my mother since I was very young. My mother is the former Captain of the Indian Women’s Hockey Team and an Arjuna awardee, therefore, hockey has always been in my blood. I have always followed her example and have wished to emulate her achievements. The first time I ever visited a hockey ground as a child was along with my mother. As my interest grew in the sport, there was no looking back for me then. Gradually, I started training with my mother being my first proper Coach in hockey,” said Yashdeep Siwach.
As Yashdeep began training in hockey at a relatively late age of 16 years, he made vast improvements in his game in a very short span and credits his steep learning curve to being included in the National Camp at SAI Bengaluru at an early age. Yashdeep was a member of the Junior Men’s national side that won the Silver medal at the 2019 Sultan of Johor Cup in Malaysia.
“When I came to the National Camp for the first time, it was a very new experience for me because I had never been used to living away from my home until that point. I was still relatively new to hockey until then so I was not used to that feeling, but I quickly took the opportunity and learned a lot at that time. The Indian Men’s Senior Hockey Team also used to practice at the same facility in SAI Bengaluru, and I took the opportunity to watch them train closely and speak to some of the players. That was a chance for me to learn quickly and improve my game a lot,” said the young defender about his initial experience with the India Colts.
Speaking about the preparations and anticipation for the upcoming FIH Odisha Hockey Men's Junior World Cup, Yashdeep stated that it will be a big occasion for the India Colts, who will be eager to defend their title on home ground.
Yashdeep said, “The excitement and anticipation in the camp is really high because being hosts for such a prestigious competition and having the chance to be crowned World Champions on home territory is a wonderful feeling. We are preparing by playing practice matches against the Senior Men’s Team, which is an Olympic medal winning side which plays at the highest level of international hockey. We can feel the improvements in our team after training with the Senior team.”