The harder you practice, the luckier you get: Simon Child

“During a national camp, they started calling me ‘Sanga Bull Banga’ after watching the way I hit the ball. Sanga kind of stuck after that.” Behind every name is a story. This one is short and apt.

Simon Child made his debut in field hockey in 2005, represented his country in the Hockey World Cup in 2006 and participated in the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games. He has been associated with the Hockey India League and DWR since 2013. Presently sporting the captain’s badge at DWR, Simon is as passionate about hockey as he is about Delhi Waveriders. In a freewheeling interview with us, he summed up his expectations from this tournament in rather simple terms: “It has been a great experience and the competition seems to be really strong with other teams. We are looking forward to play at our best.”

Simon started playing hockey at a very young age of four. When asked who inspired him to pick the hockey stick so early, he said, “My mother used to play hockey and she is the one who introduced me to the game. I didn’t really have any choice. She forced me to play.” We wonder where he gets his sense of humour from. Like most of New Zealand’s Black Sticks, Simon loves watching cricket and extreme sports. “I love playing golf and few other sports like snowboarding. I enjoy watching Virat Kohli. And VVS Laxman is my favourite from the Indian cricket team.”

Well, he might be in love with our favourite sport, but he doesn’t feel the same way about our movies. Admittedly, Simon Child is not much of a Bollywood fan, and he’d rather spend most of his time chilling and watching sports. “I don’t really watch movies… but if I had to choose someone from Bollywood, I would watch John Abraham or Ashok Kumar.”

While some can’t stand food that’s hot and spicy, Simon is different. He loves Indian food. When quizzed about preferences, he said, “My favourite would be chicken tikka and lamb curry. And I would also love to try some street food, but only after the tournament.”

Despite facing challenges in communicating with the players, Simon has been leading the team admirably. He keeps everyone motivated, and pushes them to achieve their best. His experience with the Black Sticks is holding him in good stead. “I am pretty much satisfied and enjoy the environment between the players. The team is getting better and stronger.”

Speaking like a true leader, the DWR captain concluded the interview with a little advice for his young team. “The harder you practice, the luckier you get.”

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