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.

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.

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.

“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. 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.

The 20-year-old, Sampath Kumar Mylavaram, is now in the Junior India probables picked for the forthcoming Junior World Cup