India’s Olympian swimmer visits school, ‘Meet The Champions’ in Goa

Mar 12: Taking Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s unique initiative ‘Meet The Champions’ ahead, India’s star Olympian swimmer, Maana Patel visited Dr K.B. Hedgewar High School in Bambolim, Goa on Saturday.

During the visit, Maana interacted with students from 75 schools and spoke about the importance of Santulit Aahaar (Balanced Diet) and how it contributes to every individual’s lifestyle to remain fit and healthy. “I am really overwhelmed with the response that I got here in Goa and it was a fun interactive programme where I think could influence & educate the kids a little towards leading a healthy lifestyle and food habits,” said the Olympian backstroke swimmer.

Lauding the idea of PM about this initiative of Olympians and Paralympians visiting schools across India and interacting with students on the importance of a balanced diet, Maana expressed, “Last year when we met our Prime Minister after the Olympic Games,  he suggested us to educate and motivate the kids across the country on ‘Santulit Aahar’ so that they are shaped with healthy food habits & fitness. And I think it’s my national duty to provide these kids whatever information I possess so that they can take up a healthy lifestyle and can be efficient in their education, sports and any fitness activities which they pursue.”

Aiming to reach out to the younger generation of the country and encourage them to choose a healthy lifestyle with healthy food habits, The ‘Meet the Champions’ initiative is jointly organized by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and the Ministry of Education.

The programme which carries exciting segments like a quiz where the athlete asks a bunch of questions related to nutrition, sports & food, a sport played by the athlete with students etc. brought a lot of enthusiasm and fervour among the children. One of the students who won a Fit India jersey in the Quiz session said, “I really felt nice when I got a jersey and this is the first time I got a chance to meet an Olympian and interact with her. It’s like a dream come true for me.”

The campaign also offers a platform to the students to share their minds and ask questions to sports icons and get inspired by how they led their journey till the Olympics. “Such visits are always very impactful as young minds are quite impressionable and I am confident that the message carried through such campaigns will surely help them throughout,” said Vilas Satarkar, Principal, Dr K.B. Hedgewar High School, Goa.

This unique initiative is part of the government’s ‘Azaadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ that was kicked off by Olympic Gold medallist Neeraj Chopra in December 2021 and then taken ahead by several Olympians and Paralympians.


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