PM’s initiative to boost sports in the country: Srihari Nataraj

Indian swimmer and Tokyo Olympian Shrihari Nataraj on Saturday visited Bengaluru’s R.V. Girls High School taking PM Modi’s school visit campaign, ‘Meet the Champions’ ahead for Tokyo Olympians and Paralympians.

This is the first time that the unique school visit campaign has been held in the state of Karnataka. Earlier, Olympic medalists Neeraj Chopra and Bajrang Punia, have visited schools in Gujarat and Haryana respectively while Olympic sailors Varun Thakkar and K.C. Ganapathy have taken the initiative to schools of Tamil Nadu.

Srihari spoke to students about the importance of having such initiatives in the country as it helps promote sports in the country.

“The experience has been really great and it is really wonderful that this initiative has started. It is going to help a lot of kids understand the importance of sports, fitness, nutrition and health. It is going to be a major boost, not only for the health of every kid but also for the growth of sports in this country. This initiative is really going to be motivating for the children and hopefully, with this, we can expect a lot more youngsters to take up sports and adopt a healthy lifestyle,” he said.

Besides members of the host school, student representatives of 75 schools from various districts of Karnataka also got the opportunity to attend the event and share their experiences with the South Asian Games Gold Medalist and interact with him about swimming and his experiences as a competitive sports person.

Shrihari spoke to the students on the importance of having ‘Santulit Aahaar’ (Balanced Diet), Fitness and even shared details about his food habits and the diet he follows.

After the interaction, Shrihari tried his hands at a game of badminton and played a few games with the students present at the event.

‘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 2021 and Paralympic Bronze medalist Sharad Kumar in January 2022.

Speaking about his experience Shrihari said, “It is great to be part of Meet the Champions initiative and wonderful to be able to interact with the students and share a tip or two with them. It was great to be able to spend some time in a school and try to help the kids lead a better lifestyle. I hope I was able to make a difference or an impact on them.”

The school visit campaign is jointly being organised by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, where the Olympians and Paralympians share their own experiences, life lessons, tips on how to eat right and also give an overall inspirational boost to school children.

In the days ahead, Paralympic medalists Avani Lekhara and Mariyappan Thangavelu would be taking the initiative ahead for the Paralympians and visiting schools in the states of Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu.

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