Paralympics bronze medallist Sharad Kumar on Friday kick-started Prime Minister Narendra Modi's school visit campaign for Tokyo Paralympians and visited Kerala's Cotton Hill Girls Higher Secondary School.
Besides members of the host school, student representatives of 75 schools from various districts of Kerala also got an opportunity to attend the event and share their experiences with Kumar, a World Championship silver medallist, according to a press release.
Sharing his personal experiences with various sports, the para-athlete said he never knew that high jump was going to be his calling early in life. "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," he said.
"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 are. I took up sports as I loved it and didn't make a compulsion out of it," he added.
Kumar further said that besides love and passion for the sport, it is also important to follow a disciplined life. "The only shortcut to a good and successful life is eating on time, sleeping, the following discipline and not leaving things halfway," he added.
He also emphasised the importance of having a balanced diet and fitness.
The Paralympics bronze medallist, who is a Sports Authority of India (SAI) coach, also gave young and upcoming athletes tips on how to become better high jumpers and also showed his skills in a game of table tennis.
The unique 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 then taken ahead by Olympic bronze medallist Bajrang Punia and sailors Varun Thakkar and KC Ganapathy in the coming weeks.
The "Meet the Champions" initiative is a unique school-visit campaign that is jointly being organised by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. During their visit, 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.
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