O captain, my captain! Young athletes shout-out to their idols

Updated on Aug 29, 2022 08:54 PM IST

Celebrated on the birth anniversary of hockey legend Dhyan Chand, National Sports Day (August 29), recognises the significance of sports in our lives.

On National Sports Day today, budding sports stars from Delhi University tell us which athletes they consider their idols and how they inspire them to fulfil their dreams. (Illustration: Shutterstock)
On National Sports Day today, budding sports stars from Delhi University tell us which athletes they consider their idols and how they inspire them to fulfil their dreams. (Illustration: Shutterstock)
ByKaran Sethi, New Delhi

It often stands true that inculcating a sport in your life gives you a better perspective on the ebbs and flows of life, with such being its impact on a person’s journey. Celebrated on the birth anniversary of hockey legend Dhyan Chand, National Sports Day (August 29), recognizes the significance and value of sports in our lives. On this occasion, some budding sports stars from Delhi University tell us which athletes they consider their idols and how they inspire them to fulfil their dreams.

Saina Nehwal is one of India’s most renowned badminton players having won several national and international championships. (Photo: AP)
Saina Nehwal is one of India’s most renowned badminton players having won several national and international championships. (Photo: AP)

‘The dream twinkling in Saina Nehwal’s eyes drives me to do better’

For Ayush Bhamu, a national-level badminton player, watching shuttler Saina Nehwal play is a masterclass in the game itself. The final-year student of Philosophy Hons at Dyal Singh College shares, ”My love for badminton started when my father would take me to the court along with him as a kid. I idolise Saina Nehwal. She is a true inspiration for many. Just watching her go about her business is a learning of its own. When she is on the court, one can always see a dream twinkling in her eyes, and that drives me to do better too. She is one of those players who put Indian badminton on the world map.”

Table Tennis ace Sharath Kamal Achanta won four medals for the country at the recently concluded Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. (Photo: Rui Vieira/AP)
Table Tennis ace Sharath Kamal Achanta won four medals for the country at the recently concluded Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. (Photo: Rui Vieira/AP)

‘Sharath Kamal Achanta’s dedication inspires me’

Snehlata Sinku, who has represented Jharkhand at the senior national level in table tennis, shares, “Sharath Kamal Achanta is one of the best role models for all up-and-coming table tennis players.” Sharing how he inspires her, the final-year student of BCom (Prog) at Ramjas College, goes on, “Seeing him winning four medals for the country at the recent Commonwealth Games instilled a sense of exuberance in me that one day even I want to perform on such a stage. His hunger and dedication to compete serve as an inspiration. He is a true example of the phrase, ‘There is no substitute for hard work’.”

The captain of India’s men’s national football team, Sunil Chhetri is currently the third highest goal scorer in international football. (Photo: Swapan Mahapatra/PTI)
The captain of India’s men’s national football team, Sunil Chhetri is currently the third highest goal scorer in international football. (Photo: Swapan Mahapatra/PTI)

‘I try to replicate Sunil Chhetri’s tricks on the field’

Captain of Hansraj College’s first-ever women’s football team, Iliesha looks up to footballer Sunil Chhetri. The final-year student of BA (prog) Economics & History at Hansraj College says, “As a young girl, football was just another game we used to play in the evenings, but it soon became my home and my heaven. That one footballer who has always been my idol is Sunil Chhetri. The fact that he is the third-highest goal scorer in international football is amazing. He is electric on the field. Just by watching him play, I have learnt so much. It’s fun to try and replicate some of his tricks when I am on the field.”

Hima Das became the first Indian woman to win a gold medal at any track event at the IAAF World U20 Championships in 2018. (Photo: R Senthil Kumar/PTI)
Hima Das became the first Indian woman to win a gold medal at any track event at the IAAF World U20 Championships in 2018. (Photo: R Senthil Kumar/PTI)

‘If Hima das could do it, I feel, I can too’

A national- and state-level middle distance runner (1500m) from Haryana, Gulshan Sachdeva’s inspiration lies in sprinter Hima Das. “For me, Hima Das has served as an inspiration in the recent past. When I look at all that she has achieved at such a young age, I am filled with a lot of encouragement. She is a great example for any young athlete to follow. I feel that if she could reach such heights, maybe I can too,” says the final-year student of BCom (Prog) at Ramjas College.

Author tweets @karansethi042

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