It's time we realise that sports is no less than academics

  • Rajvir Singh, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Sep 17, 2015 12:34 IST

‘Let children follow their dreams’ — this is the advice of golfing great Jeev Milkha to parents while felicitating young Ranveer Saini on becoming the first Indian to earn a Special Olympic gold at the recently-concluded games at Los Angeles in the United States.

There couldn’t have been a better person than Milkha to say this, as he chose golf over other options. He set an example that more children should follow.

It’s time we stopped forcing our will on our children. As parents, we must guide, but not decide for them. Learn from the experiences of Satnam Singh Bhamara, the first Indian to get drafted into the NBA, and his father, who was a farmer in Barnala, Punjab.

There is also the motivating saga of the father-son duo of Jagpal Jaglan and Shubham Jaglan, The Jaglan household is making news as the young Shubham is winning trophies one after the other at international golfing events. Jaglan senior is a milkman in Panipat. Ranveer and Shubham are only two in the long list of new age sporting heroes.

‘What if your child did not become an athlete?’ was the tagline of an old advertisement in a US magazine. There’s something to learn in this. Introducing our children to the world of sports and encouraging them may not make them excel at it, but it will help them to become better and fitter human beings.

Look at how badminton champ Saina Nehwal and tennis ace Sania Mirza gave wings to their dreams. They are an inspiration for young Indians. Yes, academics is important, but it isn’t everything in life. Nehwal had said it brilliantly, “My dream is to see India as a country of well-cared and respected sportspersons in all fields.”

Now, it is for us to throw caution to the wind and pick up the gauntlet.

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