Winning the Arjuna Award, a recognition of outstanding achievement in the field of sports, is no mean feat. It takes tremendous focus, hard work and an undying dedication to the sport of your choice, many times from a very young age. It was no different for the 22nd kabaddi player to be honoured with the award, Jasvir Singh.

While he always enjoyed the sport as a hobby, it was the disciplined approach of his brother Rohtas, a member of the Haryana police kabaddi team, that ignited a deep passion for the sport in a young Jasvir and started him on a journey which would one-day cement his place among the greats of the game.

“My brother used to pull me out of bed at 5 in the morning every day and take me to the ground to train,” remembers Jasvir Singh

These rigorous training sessions with his brother, which began much before the sun rose and went on till well after it had set, would set the early ground-work for Jasvir. It was only a matter of time before his brother’s unbridged passion and dedication rubbed off on him and he knew kabaddi was his calling.

It was not an easy journey to the top but definitely one worth taking for Jasvir.

“Kabaddi has taught and given me everything I have. It has earned me respect in society. Everywhere I go now people recognize me and know my name,” said a proud Jasvir.

In return, Jasvir says he has pushed himself to the best of his ability every time, not for himself but for every person in his life who has ever motivated and cheered for him.

“All I’ve done was with a hope to make my people proud,” stated Jasvir, “Through my career, I have always felt like I have to give back to those whose love and support has kept me going.”

Performing at a high level then, is not just a matter of pride for Jasvir but a matter of duty; the duty to bring joy to every person in his village, his family and everywhere else who stood by him through his long career.

A royal career

A world champion, Asian Games gold medalist and a VIVO Pro Kabaddi champion, Jasvir has enjoyed a career befitting of a king, which does complete justice to his nick-name ‘Nawab’.

While the raider is unsure how the moniker came to be, his effortless gait and almost mockingly confident struts around the mat definitely give him the aura of a true ‘Nawab’.

Now a veteran of the game, Jasvir still holds that his life truly changed for the better during his twice-a-day training sessions as a child and he firmly believes that no matter how talented a player is, there is no substitute out there for plain old-fashioned hard work.

“Great players become great because of their unending dedication and determination and not by lazing around at home,” concludes Jasvir.