Ace crickter Virat Kohli and versatile footballer Sunil Chhetri have called for prioritising sports and fitness at a mass level and integrating it as a relevant subject in the main curriculum of educational institutions for the development of the country.
Speaking at the ‘Let There Be Sport’ Conclave, organised by sports brand PUMA India, Virat Kohli, said that the central need for kids and adults of the country to adopt a strong sports culture in order to succeed in life.
“Sports and fitness has always been an integral part of my life and my career as a cricketer has positively shaped my personality and emotional wellbeing. I am happy to be a part of PUMA’s Let There Be Sport Conclave. We are confident that our journeys as sports professionals shared today on this platform will inspire the nation to make fitness a way of life. We have taken a long-term pledge to actively create more opportunities to deeply engage with people, underline the importance of a thriving sports culture and find ways to contribute towards developing a fitter India.”
Like thousands of youngsters in the country, Kohli at the conclave was asked to address his preference as a kid— studies or sports?
“I was pretty decent at studies, except for maths. I just couldn’t understand maths. I’m scared. How am I gonna teach anything to my daughter? She asked me some questions and that really scares me. I didn’t have enough time to do maths. But when I focused on it, I was pretty good. So, I never had trouble at school, never bunked classes, said Kohli while taking a quick trip down the memory lane.
Football team captain Sunil Chhetri also emphasised the value of sports and fitness in the development of one’s character, nature and emotional wellbeing.“India is a huge country and holds limitless potential to become a global sporting superpower. However, for that to happen we need to promote participation in sports and fitness right from the grassroots level by treating it as an essential habit of day-to-day life instead of narrowing it down to a hobby. Sports impacts millions of people all over the world in a powerful way and is capable of positively influencing one’s attitude. I urge everyone to make playing and exercising a part of their daily life.”
At the Conclave, PUMA also streamed its latest 90-second digital film as part of the #LetThereBeSport campaign. The film features PUMA’s brand ambassadors Virat Kohli, MC Mary Kom, Sunil Chhetri, Avani Lekhara and Bhawani Devi, and everyday athletes, capturing the need to take sport beyond the realm of an extra-curricular activity.
PUMA had recently conducted an exclusive sports-focussed study along with reputed research and analytics firm Nielsen Sports, which shockingly revealed that only 20% of urban Indian adults meet the WHO-recommended 150 minutes or more of physical exercise on a weekly basis while kids averaged only 86 minutes of the recommended 420 minutes of fitness per week.