Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacting with the Indian contingent bound for Commonwealth Games 2022, through video conferencing, in New Delhi on July 20, 2022.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacting with the Indian contingent bound for Commonwealth Games 2022, through video conferencing, in New Delhi on July 20, 2022.

“Goal is to see the tricolor flying high, to hear the national anthem being played”: Modi to CWG-bound athletes

New Delhi, July 20, 2022

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday wished the Indian contingent for Commonwealth Games (CWG) all success and urged the athletes to “play with all your heart, play hard, play with full force and play without any stress”.

“The goal is to see the tricolor fluttering, to hear the national anthem being played. That's why don't take pressure, make an impact with a good and strong game," he said.

The CWG is scheduled to be held in Birmingham from July 28 to August 8. A total of 215 athletes, participating in 141 events across 19 sporting disciplines, will represent India in the Games.

Interacting with the sportspersons via video conferencing, the Prime Minister said that he was not able to meet them in person, despite wanting to do so, due to him being preoccupied with Parliament. He promised them that he would meet them when they come back and their victory can be celebrated together.

"The current period is in a way the most important period in the history of Indian sports. Today, the spirit of players is also high, the training too is getting better and the atmosphere in the country towards sports is also tremendous. All of you are climbing new peaks, making new peaks," he said.

Modi remarked that the athletes are going to the Commonwealth Games at a time when the country is celebrating 75 years of independence and that the athletes will showcase their best performance which will be a gift for the country.

"It should not matter who the adversary is. All the athletes have trained well and with the best facilities in the world. Remember the training and rely on the will power. What the athletes have achieved is definitely inspiring but they should now aim to create new records and give their best for the country and countrymen," he said.

He said that more than 65 athletes are participating in the Commonwealth Games for the first time and wished them to make a tremendous impact.

"To those who are entering the big international arena for the first time, only the arena has changed but not the spirit and stubbornness for success," he said.

During the interaction with the sportspersons, the Prime Minister asked David Beckham, a cyclist from Andaman and Nicobar whether he had passion for football as he shares the name of a legendary footballer.

The athlete replied that he had passion for football but the infrastructure in Andaman didn’t allow him to pursue the sport. Modi asked him how he remained motivated to pursue this sport for so long. He said that people around him motivated him a lot. His journey started with Khelo India and the Prime Minister speaking about him in Mann ki Baat motivated him further, he said.

Interacting with athlete Avinash Sable, the Prime Minister enquired about his life experience of coming from Maharashtra and working in the Indian Army in Siachen.

Sable in response said that he got to learn a lot from his four-year stint in the Indian Army. That discipline and training he received would help him shine in whichever field he would go.

The Prime Minister wanted to know from Achinta Sheuli, a weightlifter in the 73 kg category who hails from West Bengal, how he manages to strike a balance between his peaceful nature and the power of weightlifting . Achinta replied that he has a regular yoga routine that helps him calm his mind.

Modi also enquired about how he deals with the injury issues that come with the sport. Achinta replied that injuries are a part of the game and that he nurses them very carefully. He added that he analyses his mistakes that led to the injury and makes sure that they are not repeated in the future.

The Prime Minister interacted with Treesa Jolly, a badminton player from Kerala and enquired how she chose badminton when Kannur, where she comes from, is popular for football and farming. She said that her father motivated her to take the sport.

Talking to Salima Tete, a hockey player from Jharkhand, he asked about the journey of her and her father in the field of hockey. She said that she was inspired seeing her father play hockey. The PM asked her to share her experience of playing in Tokyo Olympics. She said that she was motivated by the interaction she had with the PM before going to Tokyo.

The Prime Minister interacted with Sharmila, a para-athlete in shotput from Haryana, asking her about her inspiration to start a career in sport at the age of 34 and also grabbing a gold medal in only two years.

Sharmila said that she has had an interest in sports since childhood but due to the family’s financial condition she was married at an early age, and had to face atrocities at the hands of her husband. She and her two daughters had to fall back on her parents for six years. Her relative Tekchand Bhai, supported her and trained her vigorously for eight hours a day.

Sharmila added that she wanted her daughter to join sports and contribute to the nation. The PM also enquired about her coach Tekchand Ji who is a former Paralympian to which Sharmila replied that he has been her inspiration throughout her career. It was his dedication towards Sharmila’s training that got her to compete in sports.

The Prime Minister remarked that others would have given up at the age at which she started her career and then congratulated her for her success and wished her good luck for the Commonwealth Games.

NNN

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