Tokyo Paralympics bronze medallist Sharad Kumar on Friday kicked off Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Meet the Champions’ initiative by visiting Kerala’s Cotton Hill Government Girls Higher Secondary School, here.
Besides members of the host school, student representatives of 75 schools from various districts of Kerala also got the opportunity to attend the event and interact with the high jumper.
Talking about his personal experience with various sports Sharad said, “I for sure didn’t know that High Jump was going to make it so good to me, I chose it because High-Jump called me. I was playing cricket, football, and Table Tennis, I gave myself openly to the sport and never said I am only good in football or cricket and thus will not play this sport.”
“I saw how every game had an impact; chess made me mentally strong, football gave me agility and the High Jump told me what Physics and Science is. I did sports as I loved it and didn’t make a compulsion out of it,” he added.
The World Championships silver medalist also gave his valuable advice to students on love and passion for the sport, following a disciplined life, and having a ‘Santulit Aahaar’ (Balanced Diet).
“The only shortcut to a good and successful life is eating on time, sleeping, the following discipline, and not leaving things halfway,” he said.
“Food doesn’t need to be expensive to give you nutrients, even inexpensive food items can give you the nutrients you require. So have every food item, big or small, expensive or inexpensive, just check it has the nutritional content that you require,” he added.
Sharad, who is a Sports Authority of India (SAI) coach, also went on to give young upcoming athletes tips on being a better high jumper and also showed his own skills in the game of table tennis.
Notably, ‘Meet the Champions’ initiative is part of the government’s ‘Azaadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ that was kicked off by Olympic gold medallist Neeraj Chopra in December, last year and then taken ahead by bronze medalist Bajrang Punia and sailors Varun Thakkar and KC Ganapathy in the coming weeks.
During their visit, the Olympians share their own experiences, life lessons, tips on how to eat right and also give an overall inspirational boost to school children.