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Olympic sailors Ganapathy, Varun take PM Modi's 'Meet the Champions' campaign to Tamil Nadu

Rameshwaram, Jan 6 (IANS) Olympic sailors KC Ganapathy and Varun Thakkar on Thursday started Prime Minister Narendra Modi's school visit campaign - Meet the Champions - in the Southern part of India and visited Tamil Nadu's Vivekananda Vidyalaya Higher Secondary School.

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 upcoming athletes as well.

Besides students for the host school, student representatives of 75 schools from 3 districts of Tamil Nadu also attended the special event and got a unique opportunity to meet the local athletes.

The duo also 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 the PM of 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 be addressing 75 schools and interacting 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 inspire them to take up sports."

During their visit, the Olympians share their own experiences, life lessons, tips on how to eat right and also give 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 school students followed strict Covid-19 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 kids of other students.

'Meet the Champions' initiative is a school visit campaign that is jointly being organised by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.