“Sports teaches you to become tough and face harsh realities of life” : Sachin Tendulkar

For Sachin Tendulkar, the most important aspect of his cricket was the preparation time he devoted to a contest. It began a day before the match. “I would iron my clothes. That was my first step. It would get me into the match mood. Next was to keep my kit bag ready. I never prepared for the match at the ground. It would begin from my home or hotel room.”

Tendulkar was sharing his experience with young cricketers and athletes who had come to the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) Stadium in Dharamshala to enrol for the Khel Mahakumbh scheme launched by Hamirpur district Member of Parliament Anurag Thakur. “This is a wonderful opportunity for youngsters to avail of the facilities and earn sporting glory. You can draw inspiration from Sachin who is one of our greatest sporting icons.” The Khel Mahakhumb will be held in cricket, football, athletics, volleyball, kabaddi and basketball.

“It is my privilege to interact with you at this lovely venue. It is the most beautiful stadium in the world,” he said amidst thunderous applause. The cricket legend was thrilled to see girls dominating the audience. “It’s good to see so many youngsters, especially girls, because we tend to encourage sons to go and play more than our daughters. We must encourage girls to pursue sporting careers. In our homes, mothers are the backbone of the family. Our daughters hold the key to a great future.”

 

Welcoming the CBSE decision to include sports as a subject from Class X onwards, Tendulkar added, “It’s good to be a sports loving county but I want India to be known as a sport playing country. For that to happen, we have to encourage the youth to go out and play. By 2020, India will become the youngest nation in the world. In obesity, we are third in the world. We should aim to become the fittest and sports playing nation.”

 

To the delight of his young audience, Tendulkar spoke about his school days, “I was very naughty and loved sports. I played cricket, badminton, football, kabaddi, kho-kho. It helped me become a strong person. I could have studied more but cricket kept me engaged. I was taught to respect my elders and sports helped me become a good citizen. Sports teaches you to become tough and face harsh realities of life.”

 

Tendulkar also shared an anecdote from his formative years in cricket. In his first innings for his school, Tendulkar made 24 but the newspapers would carry names only of players who scored a minimum of 30 runs. The scorer offered to “manage” and add six runs to his individual score. “I grabbed the offer and my name appeared in the newspapers the next day. But my coach (Ramakant Achrekar) knew the truth and reprimanded me. My parents said they would accept failure but not cheating. It was a lesson for me. You should look to progress through performances and not by cheating.”

Courtesy : The Hindu

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