Olympic Games Javelin Throw Champion Neeraj Chopra started off an ambitious outreach programme that connects India’s ace athletes with school children when he interacted with students from over 75 schools at Sanskardham, Ahmedabad.
Neeraj Chopra, who played a variety of sport with the students and gave them tips on throwing the javelin, chose to address them about the importance of a balanced diet (Santulit Aahar), fitness and sport. He held them in thrall with his spontaneous responses to their curious queries, his inimitable story-telling style endearing him to his attentive audience.
He drew applause when, in response to what his favourite food is, he described how he liked to cook vegetable biryani, without making it spicy, and have it with curd. “It is a wholesome, healthy meal with minerals from the right mix of vegetables and carbohydrates,” he said. “Also, the cooking helps distract the mind from the weariness after a long training session.”
A brainchild of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, the outreach envisages interaction of all Olympians and Paralympians with students from 75 schools each in a span of two years to motivate the youngsters to have Santulit Ahaar' or a balanced diet and take on fitness activities. This initiative is being jointly organised by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.
“When he hosted us after the Olympics, the Prime Minister shared his vision of a new, healthier and fitter India. I am happy to set the ball rolling in this special initiative of visiting schools and in my own way sharing some knowledge that can help the students and realise the Prime Minister’s dream of India becoming a more sporting nation,” Neeraj Chopra said.
He shared tips on eating right, correct fitness regime and also some important life lessons. Neeraj Chopra also spoke about the Fit India quiz, the biggest sports and fitness quiz. “I was surprised to hear some answers the students gave me and commend their knowledge. They can reach greater heights with the right kind of discipline and dedication,” he said.
Earlier, Neeraj Chopra was felicitated by the management of Sanskardham Educational Society. He praised the work being done by the Society and lauded the commitment and dedication in empowering students to prepare for the future.
Tarundeep Rai (Archery), Sarthak Bhambhri (Athletics), Sushila Devi (Judo), KC Ganapathy and Varun Thakkar (Sailing) will be visiting schools in other parts of the country in the coming two months. Among the Paralympians, Avani Lekhara (Para Shooting), Bhavina Patel (Para Table Tennis) and Devendra Jhajharia (Para Athletics) will lead the way in the initiative.