Currently ranked as number 7 by the Canadian Football League (CFL), Sukhjeevan Chungh is a promising young name who will surely give many football players a run for their money in the near future.
At the recent CFL draft, Chungh was slated to go as a top 10 pick, and Winnepeg chose him as their first pick. Besides that, he was picked second overall in the draft. “I am happy and excited to be going to Winnipeg. Pre-season training will start soon and I know it is going to be a lot of hard work, but that is okay because I have done it before,” says Chungh confidently.
A local lad, Chungh attended Terry Fox High School in Coquitlam and played football for the Terry Fox Ravens. He started off with playing soccer with most of hiscousins. However, in high school he was encouraged to try out for football. “Once I started playing and excelling at the game, I knew it was for me because it was fun to be a winner and go into battle with your team mates,” he says.
Their team became AAA provincial football champions thrice and Chungh was picked as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) three times. Being MVP helped Chungh’s morale and confidence as he felt rewarded for his efforts. Following this, Chungh also went to Florida twice where he was picked to play for the world team against Team USA. Soon after his high school graduation, he was ranked as the number one player across Canada. “Being ranked number one just after high school is flattering and humbling, this accolade was bestowed upon me by others who know the game and how to rate players, therefore it was another flattering achievement,” he expresses.
With so much under his belt at such a young age, Chungh had the opportunity of joining football teams at universities across North America. But it was the University of Calgary that eventually swayed him. “By this time I knew everything about football, so I had a level of confidence in my abilities. However, I also knew that this was a big step up, as playing against the top university teams in Canada would also mean playing with the top players in Canada,” he says.
After coming through a successful four years at Calgary, he was ranked in the CFL draft, and that’s when he realized that playing professional football had become a real possibility. He also graduated from the University of Calgary with a major in Geography.
His immediate as well as extended family has been immensely supportive and Chungh considers that as a big boost for his game. “My family has been there every step of the way, my mother, father, sister, grand-mother and late grandfather, cousins, aunts, and uncles would come to watch me whenever possible. My mother, father and sister have been the biggest fans,” he shares.
Playing professional football was not always his dream; rather he wanted to go along with whatever opportunities came by. But what happened surpassed his own as well as his parents’ expectations - now his parents also have their eyes set on his football career.
Chung was also invited to the National Football League (NFL) super regional combines held in Phoenix, Arizona, earlier this year. He outshined almost 200 other players from across the country. He has also attended a training camp with the New York Giants which has helped him gain valuable experience and coaching.
The talented player feels that the learning curve for prof-essional football is tough. According to him, the difficulty of playing and competing with a wide range of age groups is a big challenge for a young player like himself. However, he is hopeful for the future, and wants to continue to grow as a football player as long as he is capable.
He acknowledges the recognition he has received for his hard work, but is also hopeful for many more accomplishments. “I realise the potential position I am thrust into now as a role model for the youngsters, budding athletes, and especially the youth in my own culture and community. It is a responsibility I will relish, and it is also an opportunity to pay back, which I feel I must do to show my gratitude for the fortunes and opportunities that have come my way,” concludes Chungh.