Indian fencer C.A. Bhavani Devi interacts with students under 'Meet the Champion' initiative

C.A. Bhavani Devi interacts with students under the 'Meet the Champion' initiative (Pic Credit: SAI)
C.A. Bhavani Devi interacts with students under the 'Meet the Champion' initiative (Pic Credit: SAI)

C.A. Bhavani Devi, India's first ever fencer to compete at the Olympics, interacted with over 750 students across Chennai under the 'Meet the Champion' initiative on Friday (March 25).

Bhavani participated in the initiative envisioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to inculcate the importance of a balanced diet (Saantulit Aahar), fitness and sports among students across the country.

The Meet the Champion initiative is jointly organized by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, and the Ministry of Education. This outreach program aims to connect India’s ace athletes with school children.

The 28-year-old fencer perceives the Meet the Champion initiative to be a great way to inculcate awareness about the importance of diet and fitness not only for this generation but for generations to come.

Bhavani, spoke on the topic of ‘Santulit Aahar’ – balanced diet, sport and fitness. She also shared anecdotes about her journey as an athlete and the importance of a good diet in her life.

“Meet the Champion is a wonderful idea. Sports and nutrition are very important and this is how we can spread awareness, especially to the students because they are the next generation. They will pass this info over to the other generations. Definitely, it will bring more passionate youngsters and will help them understand the importance of sports, fitness and nutrition in day to day life.”

Speaking about her interactions with students at MCC Higher Secondary School in Chennai, Bhavani said:

“The energy from the students was amazing. They were all ready to listen and this allowed me to speak and the interaction went so well. Not just the students but the teachers as well. I could see the positive vibes in their eyes!”
A sneak peek 📸 of the #MeetTheChampions episode between Olympian @IamBhavaniDevi & 750 school children from Chennai on balanced diet, fitness & sports 🙂Students were enthralled & inspired by the Fencer, who shared anecdotes from her childhood...#AmritMahotsav1/2

Students reacted to their interaction with fencer Bhavani Devi:

Bhavani is set to make a return to France to undergo training sessions in a couple of days. She finished 23rd in the women's individual saber event of the FIE World Cup in Istanbul last week.

Not only did Bhavani talk about the importance of a balanced diet, she also played badminton with the students. The students shared their experience of having Bhavani shed light on the importance of nutrition.

Pratiksha, a Grade 12 student, who is also a promising badminton player at the school, spoke about sharing the court with the Olympian.

Pratiksha said:

“It was a great feeling and is a pleasure to play with her."
2/2 The anecdotes and experiences shared by #Tokyo2020 Olympian @IamBhavaniDevi made the session informative & memorable for the children #MeetTheChampions #AmritMahotsav

Shivani, another Grade 12 student, also spoke about attending Bhavani's session.

She said:

“She is a really down to earth person who is also so very informative. She is a wonder woman for all us girls and she inspired not just me but all close to 1000 students and teachers present today."

Shivani further added:

“The biggest lesson I want to take forward from her is the sportiness. Even though she didn’t make it beyond the second round in the Tokyo Olympics, I liked the fact that she graciously moved forward and is still working hard and she still says that she wants to work harder. I so want to become like her!”

Also read: Indian fencer Bhavani Devi finishes 23rd in Istanbul FIE World Cup

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Edited by Steffi
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