English News

  • youtube
  • facebook
  • twitter

Play hard, fly the tricolour high – PM Modi tells Indian athletes bound for Birmingham Commonwealth Games

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the current period is the most important period in the history of Indian sports (Image courtesy: PIB)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today urged the Indian contingent bound for the Birmingham Commonwealth Games (CWG 2022) to showcase their best performance which would be a "gift for the country" as it celebrates 75 years of independence.

In a video interaction attended by both athletes as well as their coaches, the Prime Minister said that the current period is, in a way, the most important period in the history of Indian sports.

"Today, the spirit of players is also high, the training too is getting better and the atmosphere in the country towards sports is also tremendous. All of you are climbing new peaks, making new peaks," he said.

A total of 215 athletes, participating in 141 events across 19 sporting disciplines, will represent India in the CWG 2022 which is scheduled to be held in Birmingham from July 28 till August 8.  

Wishing sportspersons on the International Chess day, PM Modi highlighted that the Chess Olympiad is also taking place from July 28 in Tamil Nadu.

"Play with all your heart, play hard, play with full force, and play without any stress," he advised all the athletes.

In his interaction with Avinash Sable, an athlete from Maharashtra, the Prime Minister inquired about his life experience, of coming from Maharashtra and working in the Indian Army in Siachen. Sable said that he got to learn a lot from his four years stint in the Indian Army and that the discipline and training he received from the Indian Army would help him shine in whichever field he would go. When the PM asked him why he chose the steeplechase field while working in Siachen, the athlete said that steeplechase is all about crossing obstacles and he received similar training in the Army. The PM also asked about his experience of losing weight so fast. Sable said that the Army motivated him to join sports and he got extra time to train himself and which helped in losing weight.

The Prime Minister further went on to speak with Achinta Sheuli, a weightlifter in the 73 kg category who hails from West Bengal and asked him how he manages to strike a balance between his peaceful nature and the power of weightlifting in his sport. Achinta said that he has a regular yoga routine that helps him calm the mind. The PM asked him about his family to which Achinta replied that he has his mother and elder brother who support him through all the highs and lows. The Prime Minister also enquired about how he deals with the injury issues that come with the sport. Achinta replied that injuries are a part of the game and that he nurses them very carefully.

Interacting with Treesa Jolly, a badminton player from Kerala, the PM enquired how she chose badminton when Kannur where she comes from is popular for football and farming. She said that her father motivated her to take the sport. PM enquired about her friendship with Gayathri Gopichand and the partnership on field. She informed that a good friendship bond with her field partner helps in her sport. The PM also asked about her plans for celebration while coming back.

The Prime Minister also interacted with Salima Tete, a hockey player from Jharkhand, asking about her journey in the field of hockey. She said that she was inspired seeing her father play hockey. The PM asked to share her experience of playing in Tokyo Olympics. She said that she was motivated by the interaction she had with the PM before going to Tokyo.

In his interaction with Sharmila, a para athlete in shotput from Haryana, the PM asked her about her inspiration to start a career in sport at the age of 34 and also grabbing a gold medal in two years. Sharmila said that she has had an interest in sports since childhood but due to the family’s financial condition she was married at an early age. The PM went on to ask about her daughters and said that she is a role model for the entire nation and not just for her daughters. The PM also enquired about her coach Tekchand who is a former paralympian to which Sharmila replied that he has been her inspiration throughout her career.

The Prime Minister also interacted with David Beckham, a cyclist from Andaman and Nicobar, asking him first whether he had passion for football as he shares the name with a legendary footballer. Beckham said that he had passion for football but the infrastructure in Andaman didn’t allow him to pursue the sport. He said that his journey started with Khelo India and PM speaking about him in Mann ki Baat motivated him further. PM praised him for staying motivated even after loss of his father to Tsunami and lose of his mother too soon after.

Addressing the sportspersons after the interaction, the Prime Minister said that he was not able to meet them in person due to the ongoing Parliament session. He promised them that he would meet them when they come back and their victory can be celebrated together.

"The goal is to see the tricolor fluttering, to hear the national anthem being played. That's why don't take pressure, make an impact with a good and strong game," he told the Indian contingent.

Last year too, PM Modi had interacted with the Indian contingents bound for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. On many occasions, he personally rang up athletes to congratulate them on their success and sincere efforts, while motivating them to do better. Further, upon their return to the country, the Prime Minister also met and interacted with the contingent.

Also Read: India refutes baseless reports on Sri Lanka poll, says it doesn't interfere in internal affairs of another country