Address by Governor at the inauguration of the 45th Samartha Annual Summer Sports Camp
Address by Shri CH. Vidyasagar Rao, Governor of Maharashtra at the inauguration of the 45th Samartha Annual Summer Sports Camp organized by the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir at Shivaji Park, Dadar, Mumbai at 5 pm on Thursday, 18th April 2019
Shri Uday Deshpande, Honorary Secretary and Chief Coach, Shree Samarth Vyayam Mandir, Padmashree Smt Padmaja Phenani – Joglekar, Trustee, Dr Dilip Sathe, President, Shri Anant Bhalekar, Chairman, Sports Coaches, participants, instructors, parents, ladies and gentlemen,
At the outset, I extend a warm welcome to all the participants coming from different parts of the State and also from other States of the country for the 45th Samarth Summer Sports Camp.
I am particularly happy that visually challenged and hearing impaired boys and girls, and also Adivasi and Vanavasi students are taking part in the 10-days camp.
The Shree Samarth Vyayam Mandir is one of the most respected sports organizations in Mumbai. During its long and illustrious journey, the organization has done pioneering work by training thousands of children and youths in various Indian games and sports disciplines such as Mallakhamb, Khokho, Kabaddi, Gymnastics, Volleyball, Judo, Athletics and others.
It is a matter of great pride and satisfaction that the Samarth Vyayam Mandir has produced hundreds of national champions. I was pleased to know that many of its students have won State awards and represented the country at International events. I was absolutely impressed to know that many sports coaches offer their services at this institution in purely honorary capacity, without expecting any reward in return.
Today I have come here to applaud the Samarth Vyayam Mandir and to all of you. I have come especially to convey my appreciation to Shri Uday Deshpande, who has dedicated his entire life for the cause of promoting sports and games.
India has had a great tradition of sports. History informs us that Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was well versed in fencing, horse riding, marksmanship and other sports. Another great ruler, Shahu Maharaj, was very fond of wrestling and provided the game of wrestling a royal patronage.
In the 1952 Olympics held at Helsinki, great wrestler from Maharashtra, Khashaba Jadhav won the first individual Olympic medal for the country. During the last few decades, Maharashtra has made tremendous progress in terms of creation of sports infrastructure and provision of facilities to sportspersons. As a result, our performance in sports and games is certainly improving.
Today, India is emerging as the youngest nation in the world. The average age of an Indian will be 29 years, which is at least 8 years younger than the average age of a Chinese or an American.
As an emerging superpower, India has the potential to dominate future games, provided we inculcate discipline, promote sport culture and tap and nurture the potential of children.
Our biggest strength is our dedicated and committed coaches. Maharashtra is lucky to have many dedicated sports coaches. I am sure, they can transform the face of sports and games in Maharashtra.
Today I want to make an appeal to parents, Coaches and Schools. Let us promote sports culture in our schools and Colleges. Without sports culture, we will not be able to make our mark at national and international sporting events consistently.
We must think of opening dedicated Sports Schools where children will be able to pursue sports as their main subject.
It is sad that we regard sports as ‘extra curricular’ activity. In other words, we treat sports as a secondary activity. We must change this picture. For this purpose, we will require cooperation and support from parents, schools, students, governments, sports bodies and also Corporates.
This play ground, the Shivaji Park, has given the nation world class cricketers like Ajit Wadekar, Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar, Vinod Kambli and many others. It has also given various other sportspersons.
Recently, I had a meeting with Shri Sachin Tendulkar at Raj Bhavan. Shri Tendulkar proposed the launching of ‘Mission Young and Fit India’ across universities in the State. He made a simple plea that every student and every youth must spend at least one hour on the sports field every day. This is possible. I will appeal to you to continue your sports and games even after the conclusion of the Camp and spend at least one hour for sports and games every day.
Dear friends, today children and elders are spending more time with electronic gadgets than on the sports field. Absence of physical activity is causing adverse impact on their health. Obesity among children is growing at an alarming pace. If you want to stay healthy, you must remain a lifelong sportsperson.
I congratulate all the participants of the 45th Samartha Annual Summer Sports Camp and I wish you a memorable Camp. I also convey my appreciation to the parents, Coaches and all those associated with the organization of this Camp.
Jai Hind ! Jai Maharashtra !!