His visit to Cotton Hill GHSS was part of ‘Meet the Champions’ programme

Paralympics bronze medallist Sharad Kumar’s visited Government Higher Secondary School for Girls, Cotton Hill, here on Friday to kick off the school visit campaign for Tokyo Paralympians that is part of the Centre’s ‘Meet the Champions’ initiative to encourage schoolchildren to take up sports.

Besides students of the host school, student representatives of 75 schools from various districts also got the opportunity to attend the event and share their experiences with the World Championships silver medallist.

About his experience with various sports, Sharad said, “I for sure didn’t know that high jump was going to make it so good for 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 high jump told me what physics and science is. I went for sports as I loved it and didn’t make a compulsion out of it.”

Besides love and passion for sport, it was also important to follow a disciplined life, he said. “The only shortcut to a good and successful life is eating on time, sleeping, following discipline, and not leaving things halfway.”

Sharad also interacted with the students on the importance of a balanced diet and fitness. “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.”

Sharad, who is a Sports Authority of India (SAI) coach, gave up-and-coming athletes tips on being better high jumpers and displayed his skills in table tennis.

The ‘Meet the Champions’ initiative is part of the government’s ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ that was kicked off by Olympic gold medallist Neeraj Chopra in December last year and then taken forward by Olympic bronze medallist Bajrang Punia and sailors Varun Thakkar and K.C. Ganapathy in the coming weeks.

The campaign is jointly organised by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. During their visit, the Olympians share their own experiences, life lessons, tips on how to eat right, and inspire the schoolchildren.

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