Dutee Chand: It is a great feeling to be able to do something for my country
She believes that such awards will motivate children also, who want to pursue a career in sports.Updated: Sep 17, 2020 12:17 IST
Conferred with the Arjuna Award on National Sports Day (August 29), the Odisha born athlete, Dutee Chand, says that this honour will motivate her to achieve “bigger feats” for the country. With unshaken motivation and determination over these years, Chand became the third ever Indian woman athlete to qualify for the Women’s 100 metres event at the Summer Olympic Games.
“It is a big achievement for me and for every athlete who is conferred with such prestigious honours. An award should never become anybody’s responsibility but surely, it will motivate me for the Olympics 2021. Not only athletes but these awards are also a big motivation to the kids who aspire to take up sports as their career,” says Chand.
The 24-year old dreams to achieve more for the country and dedicates her award to every person who supported her in the journey.
“I want to bring more medals to the country, the nation has always given me love and I want to return that by achieving more. It is a great feeling to be able to do something for my country. This award is for every person who has supported me to reach where I am today,” says the Odisha born athlete.
Coming from a not so strong financial background, Chand never had many career options to pursue but she believes that following her passion with true spirit has always lead her to the right path. At a very young age, Chand was encouraged to take up sports by her sister. From running barefoot to becoming the current national champion in women’s 100 metres, she had her own set of struggles.
“As a kid, I did not know much about the sport but my sister always kept pushing me to continue running.Whatever career option you choose, finances are very important but when it comes to sports, the finances required can be more than double and I was financially very weak when I took up athletics. I used to run barefoot as I had no money to take professional training,” she says.
Adding that the government is now more supportive, she says, “Earlier, the government never supported athletes and parents also had a mindset to not send their children in the field of sports. Things are different now, the government today is providing every facility to sportspersons and seeing this, parents also encourage their kids to pursue sports if they have the talent.”
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