The 20-year-old Sampath Kumar Mylavaram is now in the Junior India probables picked for the forthcoming Junior World Cup
At a time when many are thinking twice to play hockey, given the low the sport had hit in Hyderabad, the young and talented Sampath Kumar Mylavaram is eager to carve a space for himself in the game.
To his delight, the powers-that-be have named him among the Indian camp probables for the forthcoming Junior World Cup.
While he was in the thick of action at the inaugural of the R.D. Abharanam Memorial Invitation Cup at the Gymkhana on Sunday, things had changed for the better for the sport as well as this young boy, as triple Olympian Nandnuri Mukesh Kumar took over as secretary of Hockey Hyderabad.
“I grew up watching Mukesh anna when he played for India in the Test match against Pakistan when my dad took me to the Police Stadium,” says the 20-year-old from Rasoolpura near Begumpet.
With his father, Sadananda Rao, a head constable, and mother Swarnalatha extending all support, Sampath’s interest in the sport was, quite naturally, on the ascendancy.
“He has the game, grit and determination to go places,” says Mukesh.
“And he should be knowing it better being a coach of the India team for which Sampath played in the 2011 Sultan Johor Cup.
SAAP Academy product
Sampath, who is a product of SAAP Academy and initially trained by Mohd. Ismail, is also a member of the bronze-medal winning team in the Junior Asia Cup held recently.
Not long ago, this gifted player, who is also a fan of Sardara Singh, was at the crossroads, with an uncertain future staring at him given the dirty politics among hockey administrators in the city.
“I was guided to join the Centre of Excellence in Bangalore by Niranjan Reddy (former secretary of Hockey Andhra Pradesh) and Mukesh anna since the picture is not all that rosy here,” says Sampath.
Passion for the sport
Now, this young boy from the neighbourhood, who can well be a shining example of how passion for sport can work wonders, is dreaming big.
“I want to play for India in Olympics. If not three like Mukesh anna, at least one match, and I want to be a gold medal winning team member,” he says.
A big fan of ace-shuttler Saina Nehwal and tennis great Roger Federer, Sampath is in a mood to script his own place in the world of hockey.