The life of Sandeep Singh is an inspiring true story of the triumph of the human spirit, about a player, who made headlines for his miraculous comeback after an unfortunate accident through sheer determination, hard work and unrelenting passion for the sport. There are not many instances of people getting back from paralysis to running hard on the field with a stick in his hand. Sandeep Singh truly deserves the praise that is being offered to him through The movie ‘Soorma’.
The early life of the great Indian player
Sandeep Singh (born 27 February 1986), hails from Shahabad town in Kurukshetra, Haryana, and was born in Sikh Jat family to Gurcharan Singh bhindar and Daljit Kaur Bhindar. His elder brother, Bikramjeet Singh, is also a field hockey player and plays for Indian Oil. Singh currently holds a DSP rank in the Haryana Police.
“You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore”
His journey in the game of hockey
Singh's international debut was in January 2004 in Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Kuala Lumpur. He took over as the captain of the Indian national team in January 2009, and Rajpal Singh succeeded him later in 2010. Singh is a well-known drag-flicker. At a time he was said to have the best speed in the world in drag flick (speed 145 km/h). Under his captaincy, the Indian team managed to clinch the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in 2009 after defeating Malaysia in the finals at Ipoh, Malaysia. India won the title after a long wait of 13 years. Singh was also the top goal scorer of the tournament
The India men's national field hockey team had qualified for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London after a gap of 8 years. The team had a resounding victory over France in the finals of the Olympic qualifiers by beating France 8–1. Ace drag-flicker Singh starred in the final against France by scoring five goals – including a hat-trick – all from penalty corners (19th, 26th, 38th, 49th and 51st minutes). Singh was the highest scorer of the Olympic qualifiers tournament by scoring 16 goals.
Sandeep Singh became the fifth highest-paid marquee player at the inaugural Hockey India League auctions as the Mumbai franchise bought him for USD 64,400 with his base price being USD 27,800. The Mumbai team has been named Mumbai Magicians. Scoring 11 goals in 12 games, Singh emerged as the top scorer in the first edition of the league. In 2014, he was signed by Punjab Warriors. After playing two seasons for the team, he was signed by Ranchi Rays for USD 81,000 in 2015 starting 2016.
In 2014, Singh relocated to the UK to play for Havant Hockey Club.
The tragedy that changed the direction of his life
An RPF officer “accidentally” shot the hockey player, when he was aboard the Shatabdi Express.
A bullet wound went through all three organs and on the spot he was paralyzed and for him it was the worst day of his life, he just wanted to go and play, whenever he saw the field, he just wanted to go and play, or whenever he saw the match on TV, he was crying from Inside to become a player again
“A dream doesn't become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work”
When Sandeep saw Hockey for the first time after the gunshot, he said to his brother, “Bring my Hockey stick, I want to sleep with my Hockey stick, and I want to again become a hockey player.”
On further information, they got to know that Sandeep had lost 40 percent of body weight and muscle and he just weighed 55kg, and he had no power to stand up straight and he needed help to do anything. And as we all know, at that age and after such an incident, it is really hard to become a pro athlete. He was almost paralyzed and on the wheelchair for two years of his life.
But he was not the ones amongst giving up on passion. Being the tough guy he was, Singh not only recovered from that serious injury but also established himself again in the Indian team.
That comeback is one of the most notable ones in the history of hockey.
And after that, he has never looked back on his life. The only thing he dreams of now is playing on the field with all his vigor. And he has not failed to prove himself.
Other than hockey, Singh delivers motivational speeches too
“A winner isn't just a person who consistently works hard and delivers results. A winner is a lot more than just that. It is about perseverance, humility, honor and most importantly undying belief in oneself. It's never about being knocked out, but whether you can bounce back up”. These are the words of Sandeep Singh that have motivated millions.
“The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection”
We all have had breakdowns in our lives. Moments when we feel that there is no hope left, that nothing can be done now. There are times when we feel that giving up is the best option right now and there is nothing we can do to get back on track. There is the only pitfall. And if then, we get back up. Get back up strongly and fightback with increased vigor, we will truly achieve the thing we wanted. Sandeep Singh got back from a major injury, got back with supreme fitness and proved himself as the elite Indian drag-flicker. Sandeep teaches us that no matter what life throws on us, we need to accept that it is not going to be easy.