Neeraj Chopra launched an ambitious outreach programme that brings together India’s school children and the ace athletes of the country before leaving for USA for training.
Neeraj Chopra will train in Chula Vista, where elite athletes train, for 90 days from now. According to the Sports Authority of India (SAI), the cost of the tour would be around Rs 47 lakh, the proposal of which was cleared by the AFI on an urgent basis so that he could fly out by 5th December 2021.
Neeraj Chopra was set to train in South Africa initially but the plan got shelved due to concerns over the new variant Omicron. His team faced challenge in getting a new venue that would suit his training. Due to winter in Europe, the team thought it would be prudent to choose a place in the US. Finally, after several emails, Neeraj got the nod to train at Chula Vista in California.
After the US, Neeraj Chopra is scheduled to train in Turkey from March. He is expected to start his international participation with Doha Diamond League in May prior to which he will participate in different domestic tournaments.
Before Neeraj resumed his training season abroad, he took time off from his other schedules to launch an ambitious outreach programme with school children. In an interaction organised at the Sanskardham School in Ahmedabad, the Olympic gold medalist met with students from 75 schools, to emphasise on the necessity of a balanced diet, proper fitness and sports.
On the occasion, he also participated in a variety of sports with the students. Furthermore, he was also seen giving them tips on how to throw the javelin. The students were enthralled by his spontaneous responses to all of their queries. When asked about his most favourite dish, Chopra described his liking for non-spicy vegetable biryani with curd.
He was quoted as saying, “It is a wholesome, healthy meal with minerals from the right mix of vegetables and carbohydrates.”
The outreach program was conceived with the goal of making interactions between all Olympians and Paralympians, with the students from 75 schools each, over a span of two years. In the next couple of months athletes like archer Tarundeep Rai, athlete Sarthak Bhambhri, judo player Sushila Devi, sailors KC Ganapaty and Varun Thakkar will also be visiting different schools in other parts of the country. Among the Paralympians, Avani Lekhara, Bhavina Patel and Devendra Jhajharia will also be a part of this great initiative.
The Prime Minister tagged tweets on Chopra’s school visit, and his interaction with students, and tweeted, “Let us keep up the momentum and inspire our youth to shine on the games field.”
In another tweet the Prime Minister said, “This is a great initiative by @Neeraj_chopra1, to go among young students and motivate them on sports and fitness. Such efforts will increase curiosity towards sports and exercising.”