Bhubaneswar, January 10 (Localwire): India’s ace Hockey player and former national team captain Dilip Tirkey is a legend in himself and an inspiration for everyone who fears that their background may be a drawback.
A native of backward Sundargarh district in Odisha, the man with a charming smile has played over 412 hockey matches and represented the Indian Team thrice in the Olympics.
LocalWire brings you some interesting stories from his school life.
“I was just 4-5 years old when I was admitted to the Saunamar UP Mission School. Our school was around 1.5 km away from home and we had to go there on foot,” he said.
“During those days my teachers were Dungdung Sir, Jispin Minj and Tirkey Sir. I was very scared of being beaten up and still remember Abraham Sir, who was our Math and English Teacher. He had no mercy if we made any mistakes. We were scared to attend his class,” he stated.
Dilip was attracted to sports at a tender age and was always keen to take part in sports events organised in nearby places.
“For us, sports meant Hockey which is one of the popular sports in our region,” he stated, adding that, he pursued my class sixth studies from Sathokar English School.
“The sports environment was pretty good in that school and I used to participate in both hockey and football tournaments that were organised frequently by the school authority during weekends,” he said.
Sharing his memories Dilip highlighted that they used to rush towards the playground with the sundown.
“We did not have good hockey sticks but were able to manage with broken sticks. Small children and seniors playing with us motivated us. I had many friends who were playing with me that time and Selvestar Minj is one among them,” he stated.
Dilip got selected to play Hockey when he was in class 7 and entailed in the National Sports Talent contest while studying at Sundergarh High School and got selected in 1989.
“We obtained the sports kit through Sai Scheme and practised hockey in the morning and evening.”
“Herman Lacra and AK Bansar Sir were our coaches and our school sports teacher was Pusheth Sir who provided us opportunities in various sports events.”
Their team earned its first win in the Neheru sub-Junior Cup and Dilip started to focus more on practice rather than to regular studies.
“Many of us were dropped from the selection held at Patiala and only we four got selected for the next round. Kalucharana Choudhary was our mentor at that time, and we did not have such a good playground facility in BS High School then but managed and practiced Hockey there for six years. Overall, 22 students from our school were actively engaged in the Hockey,” he said.
“I cherish memories of my school days; I was a playful kid who liked to spend maximum time with friends, passing time in swimming and some mischievous activities. My father was in CRPF and very strict, never allowing us to play sports,” he stated.
“My school days got me into Hockey and today whatever I have achieved is only because of my school days’ experience. For me it is the pillar of my success,” Dillip said.
NB: Transcribed from Odia by Itishree Mishra