Ujjain: In recent times it has been noticed that more and more Indian women are leaving their mark on the international sports scenario. Young girls in the city are not to be left out. The drive and motivation of girls in the city is an example that they are being led in the right direction to take up sport not just as a physical activity, but also one that could keep them mentally fit to emerge winners in the long run. It is indeed an era of mega competition and the heat has not beaten their spirit, as summer camps held across the city, most of them run by sporting associations, have proved. Youngsters have taken advantage of summer vacations to indulge in sporting activities and Free Press spoke to some young basketball players at Madhav College basketball centre to know what motivated them towards sports.
We organise summer camps free of charge to motivate more and more children toward sport. Even children from financially weaker sections of society are motivated to take sports because of summer camps, as we provide them free kits and nutritious diets. It is very encouraging to see more and more girls participating in sports now. Currently there are 40 girls daily coming for practice compared to 70 boys.
I have been following basketball for the past 1 year and have played State level tournaments. I practice 5 hours daily, 2 hours in morning and 3 in evening and it doesn’t affect my studies as all as I scored 86 percent marks in 10th board exams. My physical fitness has improved manifold since I started. During summer vacations, we get extra facilities at the centre like nutritious diet amongst others. Many children join summer camps but they discontinue after school opens as they think studies will get affected.
Muskan Sharma, 16, Saint Leela Shah School
Summer camps motivate many young children to participate in sports as they are free and many facilities are being provided to us by government during the camp. I started 4 years ago and now I feel it was my best decision till date and also best investment of my time along with studies. I have played 3 open nationals and it gives me an edge over other students. I am certain of pursuing a career in sports.
Payal Jaiswal, 16, Saint Meera Girls’ School
I have been into sports for 3 years and have played open nationals and khelo India competitions in Bhopal. I now follow a diet given by experts and a routine that keeps me fit, all because of the sport I am following. I have become more disciplined now. Summer camps motivated me to join the sport and now it’s part of my life.
Anjali Jaiswal, 16, Navin Kanya School
Motivated by my father, both my sister and I are into sports. I play basketball and she has joined gymnastics. Also women achievers like Geeta Phogat and Deepa Karmarkar have inspired us to take sports. It teaches us team work and improves our personality as we continuously meet new people and participate in state and national level competitions. This exposure immensely boosts our confidence. It is the best way of improving physical fitness and keeping minds fresh. Being a sports person is a very satisfying feeling. I hope more young people take up sports.
Titiksha Singh, 14, Saint Paul’s School