Punjabi Hockey Night in Canada on-air play-by-play team members Harnarayan Singh (left) and Bhupinder Hundal spoke to students at L.A. Matheson Secondary last week.

Crew adds spice to Canada’s national sport

Members of the Punjabi-language Hockey Night in Canada broadcast team speak to Surrey students.

Harnarayan Singh likes to add a little masala, an aromatic spice used in many Indian dishes, to his broadcasting style.

One of the on-air voices of the Punjabi-language Hockey Night in Canada (HNIC) crew, Singh has been using his unique goal calls and colourful style while broadcasting National Hockey League games in Punjabi for the last nine years on OMNI, which is part of Sportsnet– alongside some of the top play-by-play personalities across the league.

Singh and his HNIC team spoke to students at L.A. Matheson Secondary School Friday afternoon, sharing their struggles and experiences with becoming the first South Asian HNIC broadcasting crew. They spoke about the perseverance and determination it took to reach their Canadian dream.

Singh, Bhupinder Hundal, Harpreet Pandher and Amrit Gill commentate all the Canadian HNIC games coast to coast and have seen the interest in their program skyrocket within the South Asian community.

Many South Asians who in the past may have had only a passing interest in the games are now becoming avid fans because of the Punjabi broadcasts.

And Singh’s animated call of a Nick Bonino goal during the San Jose Sharks vs. Pittsburgh Penguins game in the 2016 NHL playoffs catapulted the crew into the mainstream hockey world and into the large U.S. market, even getting them an invitation to Pittsburgh for the Penguins’ Stanley Cup parade.

Singh was also recently asked to be part of the on-air team on the english HNIC broadcast, becoming the first South Asian broadcaster to wear a turban on the show.

“My parents moved to Brooks, Alberta in the ’60s as school teachers and I was the only Indian kid in school,” said Singh. “My dad wasn’t able to vote at first because the polling station was in the Legion and they didn’t allow turbans.”

Singh is now thrilled to see the changes taking place in many professions, especially the broadcast media, and the ethic diversity that is coming to the forefront.

“Passion transcends different languages and those goal calls and the energy that my colleagues and I bring to the show – that’s why it works,” he said.

Fellow Punjabi HNIC analyst and producer Hundal, who grew up in Port Alberni on Vancouver Island, said his message to students is to find their passion and follow their dreams.

“It’s up to you to take advantage of your opportunities. Anything is possible,” he said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

QUIZ: Test your knowledge of Victoria Day

How much do you know about the monarch whose day we celebrate each May?

Structure fire destroys Surrey tire shop, closes section of Fraser Highway

RCMP have closed Fraser Highway down to traffic from 152 Street to 88 Avenue

Surrey RCMP search for missing 17-year-old girl

Mikayla Logan was last seen in Guildford on Tuesday, May 14

Surrey to begin ‘public engagement process’ on policing transition next week

First in a series of public events set for May 23 at Cloverdale rec centre

Boy, 12, arrested after allegedly threatening another youth with a knife in Cloverdale

This was Thursday at a park in the 17200-block of 61A Avenue, Sergeant Chad Greig told the Now-Leader

UPDATE: B.C. pilot killed in Honduras plane crash

The crash happened in the Roatan Islands area, according to officials

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Carbon dioxide at highest levels for over 2.5 million years, expert warns of 100 years of disruption

CO2 levels rising rapidly, now higher than at any point in humanity’s history

Multi-vehicle collision on highway in Chilliwack

Accident involves several vehicles, in the westbound lanes says Drive BC

Man dies after being hit by car in East Vancouver

The driver involved is cooperating with police

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Most Read