Navraj Degun at a glance
Living and breathing hockey
Growing up with professional Hockey players, Navraj Degun has been deeply involved in the sport. From age eleven to today, Navraj has always found time for his passion.
I consider myself as having been born into hockey. My father and uncles played in Kenya before they moved to England. This passion for the sport continued in the UK, with my uncle playing for the English national team and my father and uncles playing in the English Premier League.
Naturally, then, I picked up a hockey stick as a little boy. As an 11-year-old, I played for Barford Tigers Hockey Club. At 14, I made it into my club’s first team, playing in the England Hockey Conference North League.
Progressing further, I was part of the English under-18 and under-21 national programmes. I represented the country in many international games and tournaments against countries like Belgium, Ireland, Scotland, etc..
A natural highlight of my hockey career was playing in two England Hockey Cup Finals (the equivalent of the FA Cup in football) – winning in 2014 and securing Silver in 2018.
Today, at the age of 25, I’m back at my home club, Barford Tigers, and playing for their first team once again. This is the club that grew my talent and nourished my interest in hockey, so I have a deep emotional attachment to it.
At Barford, my aim is to develop the club further, and I am part of the strategic sponsorship team working towards getting us back to Premier League status.
“Attributes such as teamwork, determination and drive for excellence are indispensable to life success”
Support from the TCS community
On the professional front, I have been with TCS for 2.5 years now, having joined the UK Graduate Scheme in 2017 from Aston University. I’m grateful to the TCS community for encouraging my commitment to sport. My seniors, supervisors and colleagues have often watched me play at matches and supported my training and time commitments – a huge motivating factor in my life.
My family is obviously also a constant source of support. While many families focus only on academics, my family encouraged sport as well – firmly believing that attributes such as teamwork, determination and drive for excellence are indispensable to life success.
For example, when I failed to secure a position in the U16 trials for the national team, I did not get down but was determined to fight back harder. With rigorous training, alongside schoolwork, I made it in to the U18 national hockey team. In fact, I was one of the youngest to be selected into the team!
Similarly, hockey has taught me to stand your ground without fearing anyone. I have played alongside and against a number of Olympic-level hockey players but did not get intimidated – however nerve-wracking that might seem to be.
A Superstar’s message to us all
Push your limits to reach for your goals. Respect is central to building good relationships. Teamwork is crucial, you are only as good as your team. Make exercise a part of your daily routine – active living is essential to fulfilment.