| Opinion | Malaysia | 1 July 2016 | Asia Samachar |
My first Gurdwara Cup was in 1967 in Kuala Lumpur. I was 12. I was a reserve player for the Kelantan Sikhs hockey team. We stayed in Tatt Khalsa. It was wonderful. When you stay in gurdwara, alcohol is surely out of the question.
In the second year, I got to play. I believe it was in Ipoh. Kelantan barely had enough players to make up a team. Half the Kelantan team were made up of students.
Kelantan first sent a hockey team to Gurdwara Cup in 1965 when Singapore hosted the games. The next year, they went to Penang.
I remember seeing top international players like Singapore’s Kartar Singh, Selangor’s Harnail Singh and Kuldip Singh, Perak centre half Satvinder Singh, Malacca’s Dr Mahinder Singh and his elder brother Dr Parim Singh Marne (now a medical specialist in Seremban). They were our inspiration. [Name corrected].
This led me to play for Kelantan U-20 in 1970. I was 15 then. When I moved to Penang, I played for Penang Schools U-16. We were runners-up in a national tournament.
Later, I became too involved in national level tennis. I didn’t get a chance to participate in the Gurdwara Cup.
I don’t recall anything about alcohol. My father, Durbara Singh, was the team manager. He was a strict person. He was the headmaster of Sultan Ismail Primary School (1) in Kota Bharu, Kelantan. We had just enough money, and just enough players, so we stayed in the Gurdwara. So, no alcohol.
Gurdwara Cup is one additional national tournament for our young players. The more they play at higher levels, they better they get. Hence, tournaments like the Gurdwara Cup has a role.
(Kuldip Singh s/o Durbara, former Malaysian national tennis champion, is still very much involved in sporting matters. He is now 61)
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