• He strode the National and Asian boxing scene like a colossus. The only Indian boxer to remain undisputed National heavyweight champion for 11 long years in a row, and win two consecutive titles at the Asian Games, Capt. Hawa Singh’s example was, and still is unparalleled in the boxing history of the country. No wonder, his unsung story of grit and determination, of a life cut short at 62 years, a fairly early age for a sportsman, is now set to splash on the silver screen with his biopic being planned in Bollywood. His saga, and that of many other veteran and modern day sportspersons from Haryana, have for the first time ever been documented in the form of a book by Swarna Jayanti Celebrations Authority of Haryana in association with the state Sports and Youth Affairs Department.

The illustrated 120-page book titled “Haryana A Sporting Power House”, released by the Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu at the closing ceremony of the yearlong 50 years celebrations of the state at Mahabir Stadium in Hisar on October 31, 2017, also features the likes of high-jumper Bhim Singh, who was the first athlete from Haryana to win an Asian Games gold medal for the country after it attained independent state status on November 1, 1966.

PHOTOS BY: LIFE IN CHANDIGARH

Among the other big names of the past given a prominent place in the book is Udey Chand, the first wrestler from free India to win a medal at a World Wrestling Championship and among the very first sportspersons of the country to win the coveted Arjuna Award in 1961. And, there is Master Chandgi Ram, a super wrestler who had every major traditional ‘akhara’ style title in his bag, including Hind Kesari, Bharat Kesari, Bharat Bhim, Rustom-e-Hind and Maha Bharat Kesari. He won the country a gold medal in the 100 kg weight category in the 1970 Bangkok Asian Games, the only Indian wrestler to win a gold medal in the Games, dominated by Iranian and Japanese wrestlers.



Boxer Capt. Hawa Singh

Another prominent name in the book is the 6 feet 4 inches frame of basketball player Khushi Ram, widely acknowledged as “The Scoring Machine of Asia”. Playing most of his career for the Services, Khushi Ram captained the Indian National basketball team which made its first appearance in Asian Basketball Championship in the year 1965. He represented the Indian team from 1964 to 1972.



High jumper Bhim Singh

Popularly called ‘Ballu’, the legendary Balwant Singh of Kaul village in Kaithal district of Haryana, standing 6 feet 6 inches tall, was considered one of the most attacking volleyball players of his time.

Wrestler Udey Chand

Tracing the history of sports in the territory now called Haryana state, right from the time it was part of undivided Punjab in Independent India, the book has separate chapters on overview of sports in the state, its sports infrastructure and the three sports policies it has had since 1981.



Wrestler Master Chandgi Ram

The book dwells separately on eight of the sports disciplines categorised as priority sports in the state’s sports policy - athletics, wrestling, boxing, basketball, judo, volleyball, kabaddi and hockey. 



Basketball Star Khushi Ram

Volleyball star Balwant Singh ‘Ballu’

It’s A Good Beginning, Holding Promise Of Encompassing More Sports Disciplines & Sportspersons In the Future.