Kangujam Chinglensana Singh, an India professional Hockey player who plays at the halfback position for the National team was born on 2nd December 1991 from Manipur. Chinglensana Singh’s introduction to hockey was at the age of eight, dating back to 1999, when he went to watch the 5th National Games hosted by Manipur. He then started playing hockey since 2001, for his local club MEIRAA, and started participating in the state-level tournaments at the junior level. However, his break at the national level came in 2006 where he displayed his talent for the Manipur team at the Nehru Society tournament, in the under-17 category in New Delhi.
It is well known that players hailing from North-east lead a hard life. Pursuing sport is very difficult because facilities for the sport are very little. With no support from the government, sports enthusiasts are mostly left to the families to help. For Chinglensana Singh, life has been anything but a smooth ride. His talent was noticed by Punjab Nationa Bank Academy. Based on his performance, the New Delhi-based PNB Hockey Academy had called him for a trial and was selected. He was subsequently coached and while in the academy, he was selected for a Singapore tour and started playing junior international matches. Thereafter, Chinglen has played for a number of teams, like Mumbai Porters, Mumbai Customs to name a few. He also played for Assam in the 2009 National Games as his home state Manipur could not qualify on that occasion. Soon, he got an offer to play in the Mumbai Hockey League for Customs. His stint in the Mumbai Hockey League helped him to land a job in Western Railway. Chinglen’s talent can be judged from the fact that Indian Railways lost in the Semi-Finals of Surjit Hockey Tournament in 2009 but he was adjudged as the best player of the tournament.
In a year’s time, he started hard training under Brojen Singh, a former Indian player. Brojen was his mentor and support through all his tiffs and struggles. It was Brojen who provided him with sticks, shoes, shorts and t-shirts. It was under his guidance that Chinglensana played for Assam at the 2009 National Games in Guwhati. His family was also a very big support to him throughout his journey.
Chinglensana Singh came in the lime light of Indian National Hockey Team when he had a debut in Indian team in the year 2011. He was named as a stand-by player for the 2011 Champions Trophy in Ordos City, China, and was selected in the main squad following the dropping out of two players. However, he missed out as his passport was not ready at the time. Eventually, he made his debut in 2011, at the Champions Challenge I in South Africa when India played against Belgium where they drew 3-3 and Chinglensana was one of the scorers. Since then, he has been an integral part of the squad.
In 2012, Chinglensana played for the Indian Team in the 2nd Asian Champions Trophy in Doha. He gave a stellar performance against Japan where India scored 3-1. In 2013, he actively participated in the Asian Cup in Ipoh. He was very hard working and strives towards excellence in whatever small way he could. He was a prominent player in the 2014, Commonwealth Games held at Gaslow, finishing second, and a ninth-place finish at the 2014 World Cup. In the same year, he won the gold medal with the team at the Asian Games in Incheon.
At the auction of the inaugural season of Hockey India League, Chinglensana Singh was bought by the Mumbai franchise and the team was named Mumbai Magicians which finished fifth in both the first and the second seasons before announcing their withdrawal from the league in September 2014. Chinglensana Singh finished with one goal in the two seasons. Following the Magicians’ withdrawal, Chinglensana Singh was signed by the then new team Dabang Mumbai, for the 2015 season.
In 2015, when the Indian Men’s Hockey team’s performance was rated based on the Hockey World league semi-finals, Chinglensana was rated 6.5 due to him being efficient in his forward runs, making goal scoring opportunities for the other forwards. He put in a lot of effort to inculcate the 10-on-10 defending strategy proposed by Paul Van Ass the coach. During August in the same year, India beat France by 2-0 in the Opening Euro tour wherein one of the goals was from Chinglensana Singh in the 18th minute. In 2016, around the time of June, Indian acquired victory against South Korea 2-1 in the Hockey Champions Trophy, where Chinglensana was instrumental in enabling the team to perform well. His rigorous training and dedication is showing results as he continues to excel on the field. Remembering his roots and staying humble yet being a key member of the Indian Team.
Being mastered his skills at various positions, being able to play at forward, midfield as well as in defense and with the focus back on youngsters in the Indian team, Chinglen has a promising future.