Narendra Modi said that sports play an "important role" in uniting India and also revealed that his government is trying their best to bring local indigenous sports to the national level. Modi was speaking at the inauguration of the synthetic track at PT Usha's 'USHA School of Athletics' in Kerala.
India has always been a melting pot of cultures. However, sports has always managed to break down these differences and unite individuals in an inimitable way. And Modi acknowledged this phenomenon saying, “Ours is a country with
"I have always been of the view that in addition to keeping the body healthy, sports also transforms the personality, bringing about holistic development. It instils discipline and ethos of hard work," he added.
Further, given that Modi was at PT Usha’s School of Athletics at Kinalur village of Kozhikode district in Kerala, the Indian Prime Minister also praised Usha’s contribution to Indian sports and said that the new track would provide modern facilities to the trainees.
"P.T. Usha has been a shining light of sports in India. She endured several challenges in life and went on to enter Olympics final, missing a medal only by a whisker. In the history of Indian athletics very few have achieved a track record like hers," he said.
The 66-year-old also praised the "personal attention and focused approach" adopted at the school; this has already started bringing about good results with the trainees making their mark at the international level.
Finally, Modi concluded by reminding others about the importance of sports and the relevance it holds in today’s day and age. "The sports field is a great teacher. One of the best things one learns on the sports field is equanimity- to face victory and defeat- as a part of life."
He also said that in today's interconnected and interdependent world, nations needed a “soft-power” in addition to their economic and military strength. "Sports has become an important part of that soft power," Modi added.
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