2021 Tokyo Paralympics bronze medallist Sharad Kumar interacted with students under the 'Meet the Champions' initiative on Friday (January 7).
The 29-year-old high jumper met the kids at Cotton Hill Government Girls Higher Secondary School in Trivandrum, Kerala.
The 'Meet the Champions' initiative is a part of the government’s ‘Azaadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’. This program is organized to inculcate importance of fitness, balanced diet and sports amongst the youth.
So far, Olympic gold medallist Neeraj Chopra, Olympic bronze medalist Bajrang Punia and Olympians Varun Thakkar and KC Ganapathy have taken part in the event.
Paralympian Sharad Kumar shares his passion for sports
Sharad Kumar brought laurels to the nation in the field of high jump. However, he also played several other sports during the initial phase of his sporting career. The 29-year-old while interacting with the students shared his love for other sports. He said:
"I for sure didn't know that High Jump was going to make it so good to 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 the High Jump told me what is Physics and Science is. I did sports as I loved it and didn't make a compulsion out of it," said Sharad Kumar.
Sharad also stressed the value of discipline in an athlete's life. He discussed the importance of maintaining a balanced diet (Santulit Aahaar), fitness and nutrition.
"The only shortcut to a good and successful life is eating on time, sleeping, following discipline and not leaving things halfway. Food doesn't need to be expensive to give you nutrients, even inexpensive food items can you 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," added Sharad.