Ace Indian shuttler PV Sindhu on Friday, during the first session of the Fit India Talks, said that players have to enjoy sports rather than thinking about the outcomes.The 2016 Olympics silver medalist further stressed the importance of sports for school children.

“You have to enjoy sports instead of thinking about winning and losing. From grassroots to schools, getting into some kind of sport is really important. If you cannot train for hours, even half an hour or 45 mins is good enough for any age. Studies will go a lot more in your mind. Fitness is very important for every sport and I must say endurance, agility and weight training is important along with mental and physical exercise,” Sindhu said.

The first session of the Fit India Talks was attended by Union Minister of Human Resource Development Dr RP Nishank, Union Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju as well as Sindhu and Indian football team skipper Sunil Chhetri.

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The speakers, in this interactive and motivational session, spoke on the need for fitness and the stunning benefits of playing sports.

“India has given leadership and vision to the world in the form of yoga and we have always been a powerhouse. We have been proficient in everything we have done so far and have to keep reaching new heights. In the next 25 years, I am sure Young India will help us in achieving that dream. The Sports Ministry is doing very well under the leadership of Kiren Rijiju. I requested him to talk to our 33 crore-strong school children and he duly obliged,” said HRD Minister.

“For Fit India, several campaigns have been launched under his leadership and Kiren makes me run all the time in these different campaigns as well as for general fitness. We assure you Kiren that we will keep on increasing the reach of the Fit India movement. Sports and Education go hand in hand. If a body is not fit, where will the fit wisdom come from?” he added.

Sunil Chhetri, the Indian football team skipper, meanwhile requested the parents to support their children if they want to choose sports as a career.

“My request to parents is please support your child in whichever sport he or she wants to play. My parents supported me so that’s why I could express myself. Play, enjoy and think about your body. The moment you start playing, you start being disciplined. The moment you start being disciplined, you start being better. The moment you think better, you will be good in everything that you do. When you play sports, you can do anything better,” Chhetri said.

“There is nothing that can teach you more than sports. We have become better persons because of sports. So don’t neglect it. If you play, you’re going to be better in every way. Also, eat more what you need and less what you enjoy. Everyone can play but nobody can follow monotonous food habits. A very important thing is food and sleep in our industry. If you want to be a top athlete, good sleep and food is utmost necessary. Going to the gym and playing sports is easy but being disciplined in what you eat and sleep makes you the best,” he added.

Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju also heaped laurels on the positive effect the Fit India movement has had in less than a year.

“Fit India is becoming people’s movement in the truest sense. Majority of our 1.3 billion population consists of school children. In the last 8-9 months, 2.5 lakh schools have registered under Fit India. On August 29 this year, we will complete one year of Fit India’s launch. In this one year, we can show where we have reached. It has been a complete people’s movement,” said the Sports Minister.

The Sports Minister also revealed that the Government is doing its best to ensure India is among the top 10 countries at the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles.

“We have made a big base through Khelo India and through many other processes we have started the talent identification. We are going to start a Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) Junior besides the already existing TOPS senior. We are going to start for the juniors as well for the 10-12-year-olds,” Rijiju said.

“If we can identify the potential, Govt will take full care of them in grooming, so that they are ready by the time for 2024 Paris and 2028 Los Angeles. If the Govt takes them under their tutelage, then their parents will not have any worries. This is a dream for India to be in top 10,” he added.

The session was moderated by the sports commentator Manish Batavia. The Fit India Talks sessions are being organized in association with the Sports Authority of India and the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD).

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