“….my dad told me son don’t be good but be great”
My father was a very good club Snooker player, he noticed my talent when I was 6 years old playing in my aunties restaurant where my cousin had a little table in the back store room and I also used to watch the likes of Alex Higgins and Jimmy White on TV and they inspired me greatly to be a cueist. My first game was Snooker and I was a World Class Junior but found American Pool when I was 17 years old and never looked back.
My parents always supported me from a very young age and never put a limit on my imagination or potential, my dad told me son don’t be good but be great when I was only 7 years old. These words are still with me every time my hand touches a pool table and I hope they never leave me as long as I live.
I’m a very strong-minded individual and my mum used to say I was my own man before I was even a teenager, I had my heart set on doing something I would do it and failure was never an option. Luckily my mum and dad are far from narrow-minded and believed in me, this gave me further desire to succeed. I am very lucky to have the family I got, so loving and supportive.
I won’t say I’m the best in the world but definitely I am among the world’s elite. There have been many issues I have had to overcome including moments of prejudice behaviour and acts against me as well as being politically held down for no reason and there was no one to help me or even listen to my argument. These acts made me work harder at my craft and only made me stronger, I’d like to thank the people who did this to me as they only poured petrol on fire and made me who I am today and when I see them now I’m nothing but nice to them as its them who must live themselves not me. Plus success is the best form of revenge, with success also comes a lawyer now that can’t really be beat so my words are now listened to by them with full attention naturally.
The World Cup is a great event promoted by Barry Hearn’s Matchroom Sport, I always look forward to this event every year and my team has been getting stronger every year too in this event. Although the event was in London, team India had the most support by far as this is my home town. I represent India but still carry London on my back proudly, we are working on our events coming up this year and they will be in West London so expect a lot more glitz, glamour and fireworks. Also get your seats early as it will be a sold out show, especially when myself the ‘Hitman’ and ‘Rocket’ Ronnie O’Sullivan go head to head.
There is no typical day in all fairness, but the state of mind is always to improve in ones sport and field. This is a physical and mental journey but it’s important to have time to relax and unwind, it is very important to know how to switch off and recharge the batteries so you don’t burn yourself out and then you can peak during performance and big matches.
I’ve had many highs and lows in my career, my highest would be winning the World Pool Masters and my lowest would be when in 2007 the IPT tour folded in USA as they really gave us a huge platform to perform from and the prize monies were great unlike today’s Pool economy sadly. I realised one does not come without the other hence my team has now gone into promoting themselves to fix this mess, you can call me the Golden boy if you like as I will play and put the promoters suit on as well.
Many things motivate me, my family and friends for example. Naturally money motivates me too, it’s nice to have some fame and respect also for your talents and hard work. Although the one thing that motivates me more than anything is leaving a real strong legacy behind, I want people to remember me for doing something great not only for myself and my close ones but for any and everyone I ever touched on my journey through life. If I ever motivated a little kid to get up and fulfil his or her dream then I really achieved something I feel. I have the power to do this and this is a great gift, it’s my job and duty to give others hope always.
I have many like Sachin Tendulkar and Mohammed Ali but my all time favourite has to be Roger Federer simply because he’s just so classy on and off the tennis court and oozes talent beyond belief. He has a great personality and everyone loves him, there’s no Nadal fans in my house.
“Shoot to Kill” – After all I am the Hitman
Two tables were close in a tournament and when we break at high speeds we kick our back leg up for power, the guy behind me had accidently kicked me in between my legs, I had to go sit in my chair for a while and take a long break, thank god he didn’t break anything though.
The same advice id give to any kid, work hard as only hard work pays in the end. Shoot for the stars and if you miss you might land on the moon, either way you will be out of this world and higher than most could ever imagine.
We at BASTF are exceptionally grateful to Raj Hundal for his time on answering our questions and giving our readers a fantastic insight into the world of Pool, his experiences and thoughts. Follow Raj Hundal on twitter and keep up to date with upcoming events.
People in the Asian community generally see the disability before the ability
Manisha Tailor – Ambassador for BASTF
Continuing with the theme of ‘Disability Sport’, this month I spoke to someone, like me, who has a tremendous amount of passion for the beautiful game – football. Rikin Shah is a 23 year old young man who suffers from a condition called Muscular Dystrophy. Despite his condition, he has been involved in football for many years as both a player and coach alike. Since 11 years of age he was involved in disability football, this is mainstream able bodied football just played by disabled people. Unfortunately, a few years later, his condition meant that he was unable to play.
But, his passion and love for the game, combined with great courage and mental strength, ensured that he continued his involvement. At just 15 years old, he attained the Junior Sports Leadership Award. For Rikin, this gave him fuel to move up the coaching ladder and is currently a UEFA B Licensed coach, which is a tremendous achievement! He is also a very keen Wheelchair Football player and is currently focusing on the playing aspect of the game. Continue reading
My message is that if you can show great strength in character, everything is doable
Manisha Tailor – Ambassador for BASTF
How I fell in love with the ‘beautiful game’
Since the age of 8 years old, my twin brother and I together ate, drank and breathed football – which at times got us into quite some bother at school! Our parents were not always impressed with the lack of attention spent on our school work, as for us, spending time organising lunchtime matches was far more important – primary school was awesome! Joint at the hip, quite literally, until secondary school that is (mum and dad intentionally sent us to separate secondary schools) – our love for the game both playing and watching continued. He however, influenced by my dad, became a Liverpool follower – they never did manage to convert me, I am a Gooner through and through! My twin – the reason I fell in love with the beautiful game we know as football. Continue reading