Hockey is one of the oldest known sports (including both ice hockey and field hockey), it is believed to have come into existence about 1200 years before the Ancient Games of Olympia.
Sardar Singh, born on 15th July, 1986 is an Indian professional hockey player. He picked up the hockey stick for the first time at the age of 12.He took up this sport because it was popular around where he grew up (Rania, Haryana). Shahbaz Ahmed from Pakistan, Jamie Dwyer from Australia and Teun de Nooijier from the Netherlands are some of the hockey players who inspired him.
He made his debut for India as a part of the junior team in the 2003-2004 tour to Poland. In 2006, Sardar Singh made his senior debut against Pakistan. He also plays for Haryana, his native state. In the Premier Hockey League tournament, he was the captain of Chandigarh Dynamos. He now serves as the captain of the Hyderabad Sultan team.
He plays as a midfielder. He has the ability to distribute the ball.He controls the game from the very middle and is quick in passing and moving. Not only is he fit and agile but also very calm and composed when he has the ball,he rarely makes rash decisions.He has the ability to position himself correctly,scan and collect the ball, all at the same time.He has a good vision.
Sardar Singh is one of the best hockey players of this era
He scored 2nd position in 7th Junior Challenge Open Men’s at Poland in 2006.In the same year his team secured 2nd position in SAF Games at Columbo and he also played in INDO-PAK series. He also participated in the 2006 Sultan Azlan Shah Tournament and Team India won Bronze. In 2007,he won a bronze medal in BDO Hockey Champions Challenge. He also participated in four National Hockey Tournament in Lahore and secured 2nd position. He clinched the Gold medal in 2007 Hockey Asia Cup, which was a victory after a gap of 16 years.
With this Sardar Singh helped the Indian national game to regain it’s name and the silver medal in the Commonwealth Games won by his team added to this glory .In the 2010 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, India won the gold medal and Sardar Singh was named ‘Player of the Tournament’. He was again adjudged as ‘Player of the Tournament’ in both 2012 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup(where India won Bronze) and 2012 Summer Olympics Qualifiers(where India won Gold).In the same year, he was given the Arjuna Award from the Government of India.
In 2015,he received Padma Shri(fourth highest civilian award of India).At the inaugural Hockey India League auctions, he became the highest paid marquee player as the Delhi franchise bought him for USD 78,000.He captained the Delhi Waveriders (Delhi team) and secured second position in its inaugural season. He was again named ‘Player of the Tournament’.
His most memorable sporting achievement is beating England in the semi-finals of the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India and being named in the International Hockey Federation(FIH) All-Star team in 2010 and 2011.He had proved that team efforts and hard work can change things. He is now a Deputy Superintendent Police Officer in Haryana and plays for their team. He puts all his effort to make hockey more pleasurable so that many more youngsters can take up hockey and consider it as a career.
Some brilliant young players like SK Uthappa, Birendra Lakra and Manpreet Singh have proven that his efforts have not gone wasted. These players are following the footsteps of their idol, Sardar Singh, and are taking hockey to a whole new level. Sardar Singh is the epitome of hockey portraying excellent concentration, skilled positioning and anticipation skills. He is a remarkable leader and an unsurpassed player. Being very flexible in nature, Sardar Singh seems to be capable of playing various positions in the game .He is one of the best hockey players of this era.