Kids Corner


Sikh-Canadian Soccer Star Signs Up With Pittsburgh Panthers:
Rajvir Singh Kahlon





Two Oakville residents formally accepted scholarships from major NCAA Division 1 soccer programs last week.

White Oaks high school student Rajvir Singh Kahlon from Oakville, Ontario, Canada, has formally accepted a scholarship from a major NCAA Division 1 soccer program by signing his commitment to the University of Pittsburgh.

Rajvir Singh, 17, said he will be the first turbaned Sikh from Ontario to play NCAA Division 1 soccer -- an accomplishment he is both proud of and humbled by.

“I think I have crossed a barrier to some degree, because sometimes people feel that long hair can be a barrier from furthering (a career) in competitive sports. Or, as seen in Quebec, the turbans and head coverings were the target of a discriminatory policy preventing kids from playing soccer,” he said. “Any time a young athlete can relate to someone else’s story, it can serve as an inspiration, and I hope my signing with an ACC school will do that for others.”

The 17-year-old said choosing between Pittsburgh and St. John’s University was “the hardest decision of my life.” He received Pittsburgh’s offer last September, asked for an extension on his deadline to verbally commit and waited until the last minute -- 9 p.m. on November 22, 2013 -- before deciding to play for the Panthers.

“The one thing that made me pick Pittsburgh was academics,” said Rajvir who is currently in his final year of the International Baccalauerate advanced learning program at White Oaks.

“It’s also close to home, and they’re in the (Atlantic Coast Conference, which produced three of the four semifinalists in last year’s NCAA men’s soccer tournament). I was told I could be a crucial part of the team, mostly because I’m a center-midfielder and they could surround the team around me.”

Rajvir’s resume is impressive, both on and off the pitch.

He has trained overseas with such high-profile clubs as West Ham (United Kingdom) and Dinamo Zagra (Croatia); he was named one of the top 50 players in last year’s Keele Cup International Tournament in England; and he is a member of the Toronto Lynx premier soccer academy’s under-20 team.

In addition to his advanced studies at White Oaks, Rajvir played football and basketball this season for the Wildcats while somehow also serving as Student Council President.

“It’s definitely hard. It’s a lot of time management skills that are required,” he said of his busy schedule. “The main thing for me is I don’t want to procrastinate. Playing D1 soccer with the major I’ll be taking (he plans to study finance and either economics or computer engineering), I will have to keep my priorities in check.”

Rajvir said he has long aspired to play soccer for a living, but the value of education sunk in when he was training in Europe.

“I realized a lot of kids were going overseas, training and getting cut. Then they were left stranded because they didn’t have a contract or an education,” he said. “It is more of a priority for me to get an education over playing professionally. If I get my education now, playing professionally later is always an option.”

[Courtesy: Inside Halton. Edited for]
February 14, 2014

Conversation about this article

1: Gurjender Singh (Maryland, USA), February 15, 2014, 8:02 AM.

Congratulations to Rajvir Singh for his success and keeping the Sikhi spirit alive for future generations to come and learn a lesson from this hard work. In USA, sports is the best medium, along with TV, to promote knowledge about Sikhi and the turban effectively.

2: Taran Singh (Hayward, California, USA), February 17, 2014, 12:19 PM.

Proud of you!! You make all of us proud. Good luck.

3: Gurmeet Kaur (Atlanta, Georgia, USA), February 18, 2014, 10:04 AM.

Congratulations and welcome, Rajvir, to the league of NCAA Sikhs. You join Darsh Singh and Dipanjot Singh (Basketball) who have played for Trinity and Univ. of Illinois (not sure what Div) and Angad Singh (Fencing) who plays for Columbia Univ. (Div1). We wish you the best of times and strength to set the precedence for our younger kids.

4: S Singh (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), February 23, 2014, 10:10 AM.

Chal, merey sher!

5: Charanjit Singh (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA), March 11, 2014, 2:22 PM.

Welcome to Pittsburgh. Please do visit us at if you need any assistance.

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Rajvir Singh Kahlon"

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