While taking a trip down the memory lane, Dominic spoke of his Principal, a Priest dedicated to sports at St. Germain School in Bangalore.
“Rev.Fr.Mervyn Coelho was the inspiration for many in school; he traveled to Moscow Olympics in 1980 and experienced the game of Hockey played there where in India won the Gold Medal by defeating Spain. After the Olympics, he invited the entire Indian National Hockey team for felicitation in the school so that the school children could get inspired and learn about their style of game. Father Coelho had the vision to bring in the same standard of play in the school which ultimately gave the country a dominating role in Hockey.” says Dominic.
“Father also had a strange requirement for anyone who joins the school. Along with the textbook, a student was mandatorily required to carry a hockey stick as a part of the curriculum. Though a student weak in academics but very good in sports would still carry the blessing of the Father in his career progression.”
Dominic joined St. Germain School in 1981 and was privileged to be associated with the 1st Batch of Hockey team. Later, he completed the Diploma in Mechanical Engineering from SJ Polytechnic in the year 1988.
After finishing College, he played several tournaments for the Rainbow Hockey Team, a private club. At that time, he was spotted by the Management of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and was invited to join the HAL Hockey team. He accepted the offer and played for the company for nearly 24 years. Also, he is a former captain of the Karnataka State Hockey team.
In 1997, he became a qualified National hockey umpire and was eligible to officiate All India Tournament.
One of the memorable matches of the matured umpiring skills of Dominic could be seen in the first edition of the World Hockey Series in 2012. It was the semifinal match between Chandigarh Comets and Pune Strykers, wherein the Strykers showed a remarkable comeback after trailing 4-1 but managed to equalize the game 4-4 in the 70 minutes. Finally, they won against the Comets 3-2 in the penalty shoot-outs. Dominic umpired this great match smoothly and without any controversy. He was highly appreciated for this by the foreign and Indian umpires.
However, after so many years, he still feels hollow in his life for the game. “I regret not to achieve in life what I could have done”, says Dominic, who has given the best of 24 years of his life to hockey. Being alumni of St. Germain, he had a great expectation to perform in Hockey, which, he could not do so. Only he is left with regret and nothing much.