Manny Malhotra & Robin Bawa – Pioneers


(relaxing music) – Yeah, my dad and my uncle had a company and it was behind a mall,
and one of the employees sons were gonna skate afterwards in the pond there that froze over. So, we started. We went and got a pair of skates and we started skating with them. And the first couple
hours I couldn’t stand up, but at the end of the
day I was skating around. – Very similar in a sense. I didn’t start skating til I was probably seven, six
or seven, eight maybe. And it was out on the
outdoor tennis courts. We used to have tennis courts, and they had the piping
underneath so those froze. And I remember my brother,
my oldest brother, was out with his buddies just wheeling around. And I was out there in
my shoes running around and the next time I had
had an old pair of skates. And I was on my ankles,
just kind of hanging onto the chain-link fence going around. But as far as organized hockey, I didn’t start til same
thing, I was seven or eight. – For me, it was funny, my dad, he didn’t play too many sports, right? But, his way of involvement
was he drove the, we had it full of Flyers. We had our association bus and it was all covered in
Philadelphia Flyer colors, right? So, he would drive the bus
because he was the only guy that had that ticket (laughs). – The way I saw my relationship
different with my dad than I saw with other kids was I tell the story all the time. When I was done a game,
I’d get in the car. The first question was, “Did you have fun? “What do you want to eat?” And there were times where I’d
leave a game with teammates and the first thing I’d hear
from their parents were, “Why did you make that play in the second? “So-and-so needs to play with so-and-so. “And why aren’t you on the power play?” And this and that and it was almost like an interview after the game as to why, the do’s and don’ts about their game. I remember thinking to
myself, this can’t be fun going through this every single game. – I always considered myself
as a hockey player first, that’s why I thought about
it when I was a child. And that’s what made me love the game because we were all kind of treated equally as hockey players. – And it wasn’t really
until I got to the NHL where it was brought to my attention that I had a different
background than everybody else. And when I started receiving
fan mail of people saying, “Hey, we’re of South Asian descent “and we’re watching the game
now because you’re playing.” And that kind of opened my
eyes and it was a real kind of awakening moment where you realize you’re on the national
stage and you just making it to that level has an impact
at the grassroots level in communities that normally
the game wouldn’t reach. – [Announcer] It’s nice
to see when a young guy can work hard and finally gets
the call-up to the big club. This is a big thrill for him tonight. – I don’t think while you’re
playing the game you’re sitting there reflecting on
what you are or what you did. I think when the game’s
over or when you’re retired, that’s when you realize that, okay, yeah. This is what I’ve
accomplished or this is what that person’s accomplished or
this is what’s been happening. – [Announcer] Bawa shoots it in. At the corner, and he puts
it in the net and it scores! Sharks tip it in!

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