The hockey community has been in deep mourning at the death of Gurvinder Singh Dillon, popularly known as "Guv". At 35, Guv was too young to be taken by cancer, which he had battled for the past three years before succumbing last Monday. It left his mum and dad, Billy and Santhia, having to face the hardest thing a parent can do. The Dillons have been part of the local hockey fabric for generations. Billy has been a lynchpin of the game for years, not only in Hong Kong but in Asia. He was umpiring at the SEA Games in Singapore and had to rush back on hearing that Guv had been admitted to hospital with pneumonia. Guv played 12 times for Hong Kong including the 2006 Asian Games in Doha. One of the best tributes to him written by a friend at Hong Kong Football Club was "he was just a nice guy who didn't see colour or race, just a hockey stick". Guv bucked the odds when he joined the Sports Road club many years ago. In the domestic hockey league, teams are drawn mostly on racial lines. There are Indian, Pakistani and Chinese clubs. Guv, a proud Sikh, decided to go against the trend and joined the more cosmopolitan Hong Kong Football Club. He was admired for breaking down barriers. He was vilified by others for breaking away with tradition and from his own community. Guv refused to be cowed by all the abuse HKFC chairman Nick Studholme-Wilson It earned him praise and censure. He was admired for breaking down barriers. He was vilified by others for breaking away with tradition and from his own community. Guv refused to be cowed by all the abuse and bravely continued representing HKFC. In today's world where racism is such a sad part of life, people like Guv must be lauded for having the courage of their convictions. The flak he got never bothered him, for he was strong and confident he was doing the right thing. He was a pioneer and many others have followed him today. His little brother, Ravi, still plays in the Premier League for Football Club. Players from other communities, such as Pakistani Akbar Ali, have also broken ranks and moved from Shaheen. A hardworking defender Guv didn't set the world alight as a player. At the 2006 Asian Games, he was part of the Hong Kong squad who finished ninth, only ahead of Oman in the rankings. But Hong Kong played well, losing only 2-1 to powerful Malaysia and 1-0 to Taiwan in group play. What he will be remembered for though was his infectious enthusiasm and love for the game, which later in his career resulted in him turning to coaching. Among the large crowd of more than 300 people who turned up at the Sikh Temple for his funeral on Wednesday were a number of teenagers who had been coached by him at mini and junior hockey level. My daughter used to play for South Island School and remembers him as a patient man who always urged and tried to get the best from his pupils. The presence of so many young children at his funeral would have given Guv a smile of satisfaction. At the end of the day, it is what you are remembered for that counts. And in Guv's case he will be known as a teacher who tried to impart skills of how to play the game, both on the field and in life, on his charges. In his hockey chairman's (HKFC) message last year, Nick Studholme-Wilson praised Guv for being a great ambassador of the sport. "He was admired for breaking down barriers. He was vilified by others for breaking away with tradition and from his own community. Guv refused to be cowed by all the abuse." The fact that all your life's work is recognised by others, and is to the benefit of the young, is by far the best way to celebrate his memory That is the finest legacy anyone can have. The fact that all your life's work is recognised by others, and is to the benefit of the young, is by far the best way to celebrate his memory. The game itself has been going through a lean period. While the local league is as vibrant as ever with many of the clubs employing foreign professionals, at the national level we are struggling. After Doha 2006, Hong Kong also took part in the 2010 Asian Games across the border in Guangzhou thanks to the organisers adding us (and Bangladesh) at the last minute. But last year there was no such luck as Hong Kong failed to qualify and there was no last-minute reprieve for the Incheon Games. It was a huge blow for a sport that is the only team sport to have ever represented Hong Kong at the Olympics. The best way Hong Kong can pay tribute to Guv is by making certain that hockey is at the next Asian Games where, perhaps, many of his young charges might be included in that squad.