Harjeet Singh is synonymous to Indian Hockey just like Sachin Tendulkar is with Indian Cricket. Harjeet Singh Tuli aka Harjeeta belongs to a small town Kurali in Punjab. He knew from the beginning that his heart lies in hockey and he had to do something for India. India won the Gold medal in Men’s Junior World Cup 2016 under his captaincy. Taking Harjeet Singh’s story to reach to greater masses, his biopic named Harjeeta was announced and is set to release tomorrow.
Brief Details – Harjeet Singh | Bio | Wiki | Punjabi Movie
Full Name: Harjeet Singh Tuli
Profession: Indian field Hockey Player
Date of Birth: January 2, 1996
Place of Birth: Kurali, Mohali district, Punjab
Father’s Name: Rampal Singh, a truck driver
Mother’s Name: Balwinder Kaur
Sibling: One sister – Harpreet Kaur
School: Chakwal National Senior Secondary School, Kurali, Punjab
Favourite Hockey players: Major Dhyan Chand and Sardara Singh
Harjeet Singh Life Achievements
- Just before his big break, Harjeet Singh was considering to quit hockey because of financial obligations.
- Under Harjeet Singh’s captaincy, after 15 years, Hockey India Team won the Gold Medal in Men’s Junior World Cup 2016.
- Harjeet Singh was awarded a sum of Rs. 10 lakh prize and Jugraj Singh Upcoming Player of the Year Award 2016.
- Ten out of eighteen players were selected from Surjit Singh Hockey Academy for the Men’s Juinior World Cup 2016.
- Harjeet Singh believes in ‘kadak chai’ to boost their morale and keep his teammates fresh and alert.
- In his biopic Harjeeta, Ammy Virk is playing the role of Harjeet Singh.
Harjeet Singh’s Early Life
Harjeet Singh was born on January 2, 1996 to Rampal Singh, a truck driver, and Balwinder Kaur in a small village named Kurali of Mohali district in Punjab, India. He had studied from Chakwal National Senior Secondary School in Kurali, Punjab. He would always see kids getting trained at the hockey academy on way to school. It was in 2004 when the 11-year-old prodigy decided to take up hockey as the career. He, secretly, started to get training at Gopal Hockey Academy at Kurali. He would sneak to the hockey academy while ‘safely hiding’ from the neighbors so that no one could complain to his parents.
Harjeet will also secretly practice whatever he learned from his coach while on way back to home and, sometimes, in his home too. Later, after few months, when his family came to know about his hockey aspirations they were slightly taken aback. Harjeet’s father was a truck driver and had very few means to run his family. Yet his family supported him by all means. They had even borrowed money to buy him a hockey kit. There was a time when Harjeet’s family, not able to support him with the necessities due to financial crisis, asked him to focus on his studies rather than the sport.
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The Role of Coaches in Shaping Harjeet Singh’s Hockey Career
Harjeet, then, began focussing his studies, but he knew his heart was with hockey. He continued to sneak out to play at the hockey academy in Kurali. His seniors and coach helped him in playing by lending him the hockey sticks. This went on for quite a long time until Harjeet started earning name among the locales. His family, too, saw the potential in him and began supporting Harjeet with all the means. His brother Rajwinder took up a daily job in the Gulf to support him with all the required training.
In 2008, Harjeet Singh joined Surjit Singh Academy in Jalandhar to level up his hockey playing skills. He idolised Surjit Singh, the former Indian Captain and the Arjuna Awardee, and wanted to become a full back. Harjeet’s coaches saw the potential in him as a midfielder and recommended him to be the one. He followed his coaches and glued to midfield training.
Harjeet Singh’s Career in Hockey Team
Harjeet Singh was selected for the Punjab Junior Hockey team in 2012. He played a significant role in the team in bagging the Junior National Title for two consecutive years – 2012 and 2013. He also played in the junior team in the Sultan of Johor Cup 2012. Harjeet Singh emerged as the most promising player, under 21, at the Malaysia Sultan of Johor Cup 2013. He was honored with Rs 1 lakh for his extraordinary performances at the tournament. Harjeet Singh considers this as a big achievement in his career. In an interview with The Indian Express Harjeet said, “they took me around the entire village in an open-roof jeep and there were posters of me everywhere. It felt incredible because as a kid, I used to take the same route hiding from all the known faces so that they wouldn’t tell my family that I continued to play hockey.”
Soon Harjeet started participating in more hockey tournaments. Unstoppable on field, it was the time when his career just took off, financial obligations came his way. He started to think of quitting the hockey when he saw his family going through the monetary crisis. As it is said there is always a ray of hope in the dark, the Delhi Waveriders selected Harjeet Singh to play for HIL (Hockey India League).
Major Break in His Career
Playing for Indian team came as a major break in his career. Through his on-field performances, Harjeet garnered the attention of the coaches and was made the captain of Hockey India Team, Junior Men’s Asia Cup in 2015. In the year 2016, he led the Indian squad at the Men’s Hockey Junior World Cup that won a Gold Medal; the team won the second Gold Medal after 15 years. India became the first host nation to win the Men’s Junior Hockey World cup post the 2016 victory.
HIL later honoured him with the Jugraj Singh Upcoming Player of the Year Award 2016 and a sum of Rs. 10 lakh for his outstanding performance.
Since then, Harjeet Singh has played in Sultan Azlan Shah Tournament and FIH Champions Trophy London. He is now preparing for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Harjeet Singh as a Team Leader
From deciding the diets to planning the field tactics, Harjeet does it all. He is a motivator who often tells his team to “play simple hockey”. He believes in bonding with his co-players because it’s something that makes a team. What’s better than a ‘kadak chai’ to bond with his teammates? In his words, it’s the tea that makes one fresh and alert.
Harjeeta – The Biopic of Harjeet Singh
Harjeeta is based on the true life story of Harjeet Singh. The Punjabi movie that draws inspiration from Harjeet’s life is directed by Vijay Kumar Arora and written by Jagdeep Sidhu. The Harjeeta cast includes Sawan Rupowali, Pankaj Tripathi, Sameep Singh, Jarnail Singh, Prakash Gadu, Gurpreet K. Bhangu, Raj Jhinjer, and of course Ammy Virk playing the role of Harjeeta. Ammy Virk (Amninderpal Singh Virk) is a Punjabi actor and singer. Ammy has worked quite a lot in resembling Harjeet Singh by working out on his body as well as his hockey playing skills.
He had shared a video on his Facebook page that gives the glimpse of his workouts at gym, and hockey practices.
The movie also marks the debut of Pankaj Tripathi in Punjabi film industry. Apparently, the life of Inderpreet Kaur, role played by Sawan Rupowali, is also shown in the biopic. Inderpreet Kaur and Harjeet Singh were the co-trainees at the Gopal Hockey Academy in Kurali. Inderpreet kaur was later selected as the goalkeeper in the Under 21 Hockey India team.
And, Oh, don’t forget to listen to this motivational song from the movie Harjeeta, its title track – Dekhi Chal.
Biopics on Hockey players
- Chak De – It was a Shah Rukh Khan-starrer movie. Chak De was made on the life of Mir Ranjan Negi.
- Prithpal Singh, a story – It was essayed on the life of Prithpal Singh popularly known as the King of Short Corner.
- Soorma – Another movie based on hockey player Sandeep Singh is slated to release this year. Diljit Dosanjh and Taapsee Pannu are playing the lead roles in Soorma.
- Soon Akshay Kumar will also be seen in a biopic of Balbir Singh Sr., the legendary hockey player.
Harjeeta is a story of the real hero, Harjeet Singh, who did not gave up on his dreams. He has become the inspiration to many hockey players in India.
Photo : Harjeet’s Facebook