Ace badminton player and coach P. Gopichand wants fitness programmes to become a routine among all age groups and facets of society.
Speaking at ‘Physical Literacy Conference 2021’: Cultural Connections around the World , in a Zoom meeting on Saturday, Gopichand observed, “Physical activity was always there in our culture. My great grandfather used to walk 30 km every day from our village to attend a court case in the town. Women used to walk long distances to bring water.”
He recalled the iconic JRD Tata’s words that a nation doesn’t become great by removing poverty but by giving its talented people an opportunity to shine. And Gopichand noted physical fitness was among the foremost attributes in making a person confident and achieve his goals.
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“It should not be about him winning medals alone. [Physical fitness] should become a part of his life,” Gopichand added.
The renowned badminton coach said, physical fitness should be an amalgam of mind and body. “They have to be in harmony. You can see that mind-body connect in our ancient dance forms.”
‘All about attitude’
Dr. Margaret Whitehead, Founder, International Physical Literacy Association (IPLA), stated “Physical efficiency is about attitude.”
She pointed out, “Physical effort with mental health can be rewarding and invigorating with a holistic goal.”
The earlier speakers dwelt on the importance of physical activity, which was enjoyable in nature and not a burden, being made mandatory in schools and work places. During times of Covid-19 when so many work from home, the lifestyle has become very sedentary and here physical activity and sports played an important role, they said.
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