Bikas Saikiran, now a well established student at the Anantapur Sports Village (ASV) Hockey Academy, hails from Ganga Nagar, a small community in Anantapur. Saikiran was always fascinated by the sight of children playing at the huge campus of the ASV, a few kilometers from Anantapur town. Saikiran always dreamt of playing Hockey and representing his country. However his dream remained elusive owing to his humble background where his father, a Dhobi (washer man) could barely make ends meet.
The Boys Hockey program at the ASV commenced with the support of Rural Development Trust (RDT) in 2006. This initiative was set up to cultivate a sporting culture with India’s national sport along with other sporting disciplines as well. The program began with a vision to promote the sport at the grassroots level but developed further, eventually propagating the language of sport through 31 centers spread across Anantapur district, covering 28 schools and two regional centers, along with the ASV Hockey Academy (ASVHA).
Saikiran turned out to be a lustrous athlete. He joined the Hockey Academy on 12th August, 2009. His father introduced him to Mr. Lakshmi Narayana, ASVHA Boys Head Coach, to train under him. Saikiran wanted to leave his father’s footsteps behind and carve out his own path, to represent the country and make his parents proud. A likely reason for his unending energy and enthusiasm that helped him make steady progress in his game and eventually be part of the Senior State Squad of Andhra Pradesh.
Hockey was always a recognized sport among the commoners of Anantapur but RDT formed an analytical way of mastering the art of talent development to provide sporting avenues for youngsters. It encouraged a drastic advancement to sport, through its unified program at the ASA. It also aided talented youngsters with a holistic development through education and nutrition support, apart from that for hockey via its ASV.
Saikiran has been one of the many beneficiaries of this ambition. His extensive development came to light when he was selected for an opportunity to represent Andhra Pradesh during a state camp.
Lakshmi Narayana, ASVHA Boys Head Coach praises his saying “Saikiran was very energetic highly skillful, but his greatest trait was his humility. He never forgot his roots and still continues to help his parents.”
Participating in sports made Saikiran more responsible in life as he is now able to juggle both his studies and sport comfortably. Being the best player of the recently concluded Karnataka Hockey League did him a world of good because of the exposure and the experience he received. He now wants to share the same experience with the youngsters of Anantapur and churn out more talents like him. Saikiran shares “Hockey gave me a lot but it taught me that, “In life you either win or you learn, you never lose.”