Olympic Sailors KC Ganapathy and Varun Thakkar take PM Modi’s ‘Meet the Champions’ campaign to Tamil Nadu, say “hope we inspired the next Olympic medalist”

New Delhi: Olympic Sailors KC Ganapathy and Varun Thakkar take PM’s ‘Meet the Champions’ campaign to Tamil Nadu, say “hope we inspired the next Olympic medalist”


Olympic Sailors KC Ganapathy and Varun Thakkar on Thursday kicked off Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s school visit campaign in the southern part of India and visited Vivekananda Vidyalaya Higher Secondary School in Rameswaram.


Taking the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s unique school visit campaign ahead, the Asian Championships Gold Medallists Varun and Gana interacted with children on the importance of having a balanced and nutritious diet to build strong immunity and muscles that are really important in the life of an athlete.


They also got the students to share their sports resolution for the year 2022 with the audience so they got to hear the experience of up and coming athletes as well.


Besides students of the host school, student representatives of 75 schools from three districts of Tamil Nadu also attended the special event and got a unique opportunity to meet the local athletes.


During the visit, both Varun and Gana interacted with the students in Tamil and English, so that they could understand the importance of having a ‘Santulit Aahaar’ (Balanced Diet), Fitness and also promoted the sport of Badminton, which is quite popular in the southern region of the country.


The duo showed the students a few basic muscle strengthening exercises which are important to have as a sailor and said, “For sailing, you need to have a balance between flexibility and strength otherwise the wind might suddenly change and throw you off your boats. So every morning we start our day with either running or cycling to build on our flexibility and then in the evening we do weight training, so we can build upon our strength.”


Lauding the idea of Hon’ble PM asking Olympians and Paralympians to visit schools across India and interact with students, Varun and Gana said, “We are extremely excited to be part of the ‘Meet the Champions Movement’ initiated by our honourable Prime Minister. It was great to address 75 schools and interact with 150+ children of various districts. Hopefully, we inspired them and they realise the importance of eating healthy and staying fit. We hope we have a next Olympic medallist from the children and we inspired them to take up sports.”


The unique initiative is part of the government’s ‘Azaadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ that was kicked off by Olympic Gold medallist Neeraj Chopra in December 2021 and then taken ahead by Olympic Bronze medalist Bajrang Punia in the Northern region of India.


‘Meet the Champions’ initiative is a unique school visit campaign that is jointly being organised by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. During their visit, the Olympians shared their own experiences, life lessons, tips on how to eat right and also gave an overall inspirational boost to school children.


While the sailors met and guided the school going students to keep the momentum of the ‘Meet the Champions’ initiative going, the school management made sure that the students followed strict COVID appropriate protocols and wore masks at all times during the Olympian’s short visit.


They also made sure that the students sat at least 2 meters away from each other and thus avoided physical contact from other students.