Photo: Jimmy Jeong/The Canadian Press
On one side of the coin, Sukh Chungh has branched out and enjoyed some different activities over this last year. He spent some time fixing up his old Chevy, re-discovering his love of old muscle cars in the process.
In addition to his regular football training, he stayed in shape by doing landscaping and helping out with his dad’s garbage disposal business. He has also devoted some of his time to the Lions’ community initiatives, most notably the club’s Be More Than A Bystander campaign, all of these being important life skills and in some cases a means to make a living.
On the other side of it, we know how intense Chungh is once he straps on those pads. After a year off, the pride of Port Coquitlam, B.C. is itching to hit somebody in a different coloured uniform. The offensive lineman joined 1st and Now, the official Lions Podcast presented by iA Financial Group, to talk about what has been going on in his world this past year.
“That’s a big thing I look forward to, especially, up front, ” said Chungh told BCLions.com.
“It’s been hard not to put on a helmet and shoulder pads and hit someone because having that as your job is a pretty cool thing. Definitely, when we do get it going and when we’re ready to hit someone other than our teammates is going to be an exciting time.”
Takes Pride In Sikh Heritage
One of the big reasons Chungh takes pride in his involvement in community programs is his chance to become a role model for younger members of the Sikh community in British Columbia. Chungh was and still is a rarity amongst Sikh youngsters, choosing football as his first love instead of basketball, soccer and hockey. He was also a solid weightlifter at Terry Fox Secondary but quickly realized football was his best path to becoming a pro athlete. Now he does what he can to encourage the young kids he meets to pursue their own dreams in the world of sports.
“Sometimes, it’s just talking about football and what it is and bringing it into the community is a big part for me; just educating them on what football is,” explained Chungh.
“I encourage anyone to try football. It’s been really cool. I’ve got to work with the Immigrant Youth Society out in Abbotsford for talks. In my community, not a lot of people play football so when they do hear I am playing football, lots of questions come with it: What is it? How does it work? That’s been really cool.
“My mom has watched me play for super long, she’s pretty educated in football. She can break it down for someone as well,” he laughed.
She and Sukh’s dad attend every game, so you know they can always provide a detailed scouting report.
Starved for a championship
Chungh was an integral piece on a Terry Fox Ravens squad that won three straight BC provincial high school titles, although he also admits it hurt just as much that he didn’t win a fourth to close out his great high school career. He was later part of a Calgary Dinos program that was victorious in three straight Hardy Cups and appeared in the 2013 Vanier Cup against Laval.
Then the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, the squad that selected him second overall in the 2015 CFL Draft, hoisted the Grey Cup in their first year without him. Translation? He is hungry to win another championship. All that said, a Grey Cup championship would also mean a lot more to him if it came as a member of his hometown Lions.
“I’m looking forward to bringing it home to BC and having the Grey Cup down Granville Street,” Chungh said.
“That’s the goal and to do it at home, that would be even more special. I want to do it at home and I know a lot of guys who do want to bring the Grey Cup to BC. Being from here, it means a lot to me. That’s always been the goal since I signed here and it will continue to be the goal until it happens. I think we have the right group of guys to make it happen, so I’m excited about that.”
For now, he’ll make the most out of his time with family and of course, his newly fixed-up Chevy.
“I’m looking forward to having that thing on the road,” Chungh said very excitedly.
On the field, he’ll soon be creating holes big enough to drive that car through as well. Hey, maybe it would look good driving down Granville Street in late November.